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Delhi to get its first smog tower
The smog tower is a pilot project and is expected to influence the air quality of more than 1 km in the downwind direction.
What Is Smog?
The word “smog” is an amalgam of the words “smoke” and “fog.” Smog is produced by a set of complex photochemical reactions involving volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxides, and sunlight.
• The two main components of smog are particulate matter (PM) and ground-level ozone (03). Ozone can be beneficial or harmful, depending on its location. Ozone in the stratosphere acts as a barrier that protects human health and the environment from excessive amounts of solar radiation, whereas ground-level ozone is the main constituent of smog.
• Ground-level ozone is trapped near the ground by heat inversions or other weather conditions and causes respiratory distress and burning eyes associated with smog.
• Ironically, smog is often more severe farther away from the sources of pollution. This is because the chemical reactions that cause smog to take place in the atmosphere while pollutants are drifting on the wind.
• Smog in Delhi is primarily due to high vehicular and industrial emissions, construction work, and crop burning in adjoining states.
1. Coal: Coal fires used to heat individual buildings or in a power-producing plant, can emit significant clouds of smoke that contribute to smog. Coal was the main culprit of the 1952 London smog that was responsible for morbidity and mortality in thousands of people.
2. Transportation emissions: Traffic emissions such as from trucks, buses, and automobiles also contribute. The major culprits from transportation sources are carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NO and NOx), volatile organic compounds, sulfur dioxide, and hydrocarbons. •These molecules react with sunlight, heat, ammonia, moisture, and other compounds to form the noxious vapors, ground-level ozone, and particles that comprise smog.
3. Photochemical smog: Photochemical smog is the chemical reaction of sunlight, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere which leaves airborne particles and ground-level ozone.
4. Natural causes: An erupting volcano can also emit high levels of sulfur dioxide along with a large quantity of particulate matter both of which are key components to the creation of smog. However, the smog created as a result of a volcanic eruption is known as “vog” to distinguish it as a natural occurrence.
What Is A ‘Smog Tower’?
Smog towers are structures designed to work as large-scale air purifiers. They are usually fitted with multiple layers of air filters, which clean the air of pollutants as it passes through them. After the cleaning, the tower releases clean air. Large-scale air filters shall draw in the air through fans installed at the top before passing it through the filters and release it near the ground. • The filters installed in the tower will use carbon nanofibres as a major component and will be fitted along its peripheries. The tower will focus on reducing particulate matter load.
Content Writer by PRASHANT SINGH
Faculty of personality development | 5+ years of experience of teaching | Masters in English literature | 10 times CDS qualified, | Defence enthusiast, educator and explorer