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Control air pollution

Analysis and abatement of air pollution involve a variety of technical disciplines. Formation of the most prevalent pollutants occurs during the combustion process, a tightly coupled system involving fluid flow, mass and energy transport, and chemical kinetics.

Its complexity is exemplified by the fact that, in many respects, the simplest hydrocarbon combustion, the methane-oxygen flame, has been quantitatively modeled only within the last several years. Nonetheless, the development of combustion modifications aimed at minimizing the formation of the unwanted by-products of burning fuels requires an understanding of the combustion process. Fuel may be available in solid, liquid, or gaseous form; it may be mixed with the air ahead of time or only within the combustion chamber; the chamber itself may vary from the piston and cylinder arrangement in an automobile engine to a lO-story-high boiler in the largest power plant; the unwanted byproducts may remain as gases, or they may, upon cooling, form small particles.

The only effective way to control air pollution is to prevent the release of pollutants at the source. Where pollutants are generated in combustion, modifications to the combustion process itself, for example in the manner in which the fuel and air are mixed, can be quite effective in reducing their formation. Most situations, whether a combustion or an industrial process, however, require some degree of treatment of the exhaust gases before they are released to the atmosphere.

Such treatment can involve intimately contacting the effluent gases with liquids or solids capable of selectively removing gaseous pollutants or, in the case of particulate pollutants, directing the effluent flow through a device in which the particles are captured on surfaces.

Title:Fundamentals of air pollution engineering
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