C1 - Air Quality Flashcards

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1
Q

What is the atmosphere made up of?

A

78% Nitrogen
21% Oxygen
1% Argon
Less than 1% of H2O and CO2 and other gases

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2
Q

What are the five pollutants?

A
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Particles of carbon
  • Sulfur dioxide
  • Nitrogen oxides
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3
Q

Name one result of pollution which causes direct harm to humans

A

Vehicle exhausts contain pollutants which contribute to breathing problems like asthma (carbon monoxide).

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4
Q

Name one result of pollution which causes indirect harm

A

CO2 made from burning fuels in factories or cars can lead to an increase in global warming which could bring all sorts of problems such as rising sea levels, disruption to farming, more hurricanes.

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5
Q

What is a hydrocarbon?

A
  • A compound containing hydrogen and carbon atoms only
  • Fuels such as petrol, diesel fuel and fuel oil are mixtures of hydrocarbons
  • Many power stations also burn hydrocarbons e.g. natural gas
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6
Q

Name the main element that makes up coal

A

Carbon

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7
Q

When a hydrocarbon fuel burns, with what substance in the air do the hydrogen and carbon atoms combine?

A

Oxygen

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8
Q

When hydrocarbons burn in plenty of oxygen, the atoms involved rearrange themselves into carbon dioxide and what else?

A

Water

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9
Q

Atoms can disappear completely in some chemical reactions, true or false?

A

False, no atoms disappear in the reaction they just get shuffled around.

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10
Q

Are the properties of reactants and products always the same or can they be different?

A

Very different, when atoms rearrange themselves in a reaction, the products that are formed have their own properties which can be very different from the properties of the reactants.

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11
Q

What removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere?

A

It can be naturally removed by plants, plants use up CO2 from the air when they photosynthesise. CO2 also dissolves in rainwater and in seas, lakes and rivers.

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12
Q

What atoms make up carbon monoxide? Under what conditions is carbon monoxide produced?

A

One oxygen atom attached to a carbon atom. Is produced if theres not enough oxygen available when fuels burn.

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13
Q

What are the particles of carbon otherwise known as and what kind of pollution do they cause?

A

Particulate carbon (tiny particles of carbon). Air pollution is made if they escape into the atmosphere and falls back to the ground as soot.

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14
Q

Describe briefly how the pollutant sulfur dioxide is produced

A

Many of our fuels are hydrocarbon-based, like petrol and natural gas. Some are just carbon-based, like coal. These fuels contain loads of impurities as they’re extracted straight from the Earth’s crust. Some fuels contain traces of the element sulfur and when the fuel burns, the sulfur burns too. When sulfur atoms burn, they combine with the oxygen in the air to produce the pollutant sulfur dioxide.

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15
Q

How does sulfur dioxide leave the atmosphere?

A

Acid rain. When the sulfur dioxide emitted from vehicle engines and power stations reacts with the moisture in clouds, dilute sulfuric acid is formed. Eventually much of this acid will fall as acid rain.

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16
Q

What effects does acid rain have on the environment?

A

Acid rain causes lakes to become acidic, killing plants and animal. It also kills trees and damages buildings and statues made from some kinds of stone e.g. limestone.

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17
Q

Describe how nitrogen dioxide is produced when fossil fuels are burnt

A

Fossil fuels burn at such high temperatures that nearby atoms in the air react with each other. Nitrogen in the air reacts with the oxygen in the air to produce small amounts of compounds known as nitrogen oxides - nitrogen monoxide and nitrogen dioxide.

18
Q

Give the formulas of nitrogen monoxide and nitrogen dioxide

A

Nitrogen monoxide - NO

Nitrogen dioxide - NO2

19
Q

What effect do nitrogen oxides have on the environment?

A

Similar to sulfur dioxide, when they’re formed they usually end up in the atmosphere which is where they stay until they react with moisture in clouds. This produces a dilute nitric acid which eventually falls to the Earth as acid rain.

20
Q

What do catalytic converters do?

A

They convert harmful nitrogen monoxide into harmless nitrogen and oxygen. They also convert the very toxic gas carbon monoxide into the less harmful gas carbon dioxide.

21
Q

Name two things that everyone could do in order to reduce carbon dioxide pollution

A

Use public transport (less petrol would be burnt overall)

Walk (No petrol used)

22
Q

How do MOT tests help combat air pollution?

A

Helps to monitor and maintain air pollution levels as there is a legal limit on the amount of polluting emissions that cars can give out.

23
Q

Why should you question the results of an experiment if the experiment was only done once?

A

Results may be inaccurate, perhaps because of experimental error, inaccurate instruments, or values changing.

24
Q

If both air pollution and cancer increase, does that mean air pollution causes cancer?

A

No, there are other factors that could cause cancer and not just the one they are investigating. More details need to be provided as to the size of their sample and the results they got. Other scientists would need to repeat the experiment and get the same results. Also if one thing does cause something else it doesn’t mean that it will definitely make it happen it’s just that the risk of getting cancer is increased in a high pollution area.

25
Q

Why is it a problem that the human population is rapidly increasing?

A

The more of us there are, the more food must be produced, the more fuel is burnt and the more land is used up. This all puts a lot of pressure on the environment.

26
Q

Give an example of a scientific advancement that contributes to environmental problems

A

Science-based technology such as computers. They are full of poisonous substances and this becomes a problem when it comes to computer disposal. They are often dumped in landfills which poisons the land for the people, animals and plants that live there.

27
Q

What is a sustainable development?

A

Ways of using natural resources to meet our needs without messing things up so that the future generations can’t meet theirs.

28
Q

Give an example of a renewable resource that could be used to provide energy for our homes

A

Solar energy can be used to heat water and generate electricity. Wind turbines on the roofs of houses can be used to generate electricity.

29
Q

Name one result of pollution which causes direct harm to humans

A

Carbon monoxide contributes to breathing problems like asthma from vehicle exhausts

30
Q

Name one result of pollution which causes indirect harm

A

Global warming which could bring all sorts of problems such as rising sea levels, disruption to farming, more hurricanes.

31
Q

What removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere?

A

It can be naturally removed by plants, plants use up CO2 from the air when they photosynthesise
CO2 also dissolves in rainwater and in seas, lakes and rivers.

32
Q

Describe briefly how the pollutant sulfur dioxide is produced

A

Some fuels contain traces of the element sulfur and when the fuel burns, the sulfur burns too. When sulfur atoms burn, they combine with the oxygen in the air to produce the pollutant sulfur dioxide.

33
Q

What effects does acid rain have on the environment?

A

Acid rain causes lakes to become acidic, killing plants and animal. It also kills trees and damages buildings and statues made from some kinds of stone e.g. limestone.

34
Q

Describe how nitrogen dioxide is produced when fossil fuels are burnt

A

Fossil fuels burn at such high temperatures that nearby atoms in the air react with each other, nitrogen in the air reacts with the oxygen in the air to produce small amounts of compounds known as nitrogen oxides - nitrogen monoxide and nitrogen dioxide.

35
Q

Give the formulas of nitrogen monoxide and nitrogen dioxide

A

NO

NO2

36
Q

What effect do nitrogen oxides have on the environment?

A

React with the moisture in the clouds and turns into acid rain which causes lakes to become acidic, killing plants and animal. It also kills trees and damages buildings and statues made from some kinds of stone e.g. limestone

37
Q

Why should you question the results of an experiment if the experiment was only done once?

A

Could be inaccurate due to experimental error, inaccurate instruments, or values changing.

38
Q

If both air pollution and cancer increase, does that mean air pollution causes cancer?

A

No, there are other factors that could cause cancer and not just the one they are investigating, it’s just that the risk of getting cancer is increased in a high pollution area. More details need to be provided as to the size of their sample and the results they got. Other scientists would need to repeat the experiment and get the same results.

39
Q

Why is it a problem that the human population is rapidly increasing?

A

More food must be produced, the more fuel is burnt and the more land is used up. This all puts a lot of pressure on the environment.

40
Q

Give an example of a scientific advancement that contributes to environmental problems

A

Science-based technology such as computers. Full of poisonous substances and this becomes a problem when it comes to computer disposal, poisons the land.

41
Q

Give an example of a renewable resource that could be used to provide energy for our homes

A

Solare panels and wind turbines