You cannot turn on a computer or television, without seeing a story about climate change. Our planet is being choked by man-made emissions, and experts spend countless hours and dollars researching ways to reduce this plague, that we continue to bring upon ourselves. Changes have already been made in many industries, with hybrid vehicles, solar powered homes, and products made of recycled goods becoming ever more popular. But there are still huge questions when it comes to manufacturing and industrial fields. Nuclear power plants, steel companies, waste management facilities, coal mines… all industries that have come under fire in recent years, for producing dangerous emissions. The majority of recommendations to reduce these emissions involve cutting back on production, which could potentially have massive economic repercussions. But here is the thing, there is a simple solution, that has existed for decades. [Read more…]
5 Ways to Limit the Negative Health Effects of Air Pollution in Your Everyday Life
Recently, the UN released an alarming study addressing the extreme dangers our planet is facing, because of pollution. You cannot turn on the news without seeing headlines like “Air Pollution Linked to Alzheimer’s” or “Air Pollution Increasing Asthma Deaths.” Air Pollution is now a leading cause of death in most parts of the world, and governments are scrambling to find ways to curb then amount of pollution produced. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and chemicals like Nitrogen Oxides, Ammonia, Methane, Hydrogen Sulfide, and Sulfur Monoxide are you just a few of the dangerous gases and particles found in the atmosphere, that we are breathing in, daily.
Pollution control equipment and government initiatives/regulations will hopefully lessen the amount of pollution being released into the atmosphere, but there are a few things you can do in your everyday life to reduce the immediate negative effects on your health. [Read more…]
Dimethyl sulfide (DMS), also known as methylthiomethane, is an organosulfur compound. It is a methyl sulfide, in which the sulfur atom is substituted by two methyl groups, with the chemical formula of (CH3)2S. It is a highly flammable straw-colored liquid, with a boiling point of 37 degrees Celsius, or 99 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a compound that is easily recognized by its foul odor, that is often described as “cabbage like”. Unlike many other organosulfur compounds, this disagreeable odor is present in even low concentrations of DMS. Dimethyl sulfide is the product of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) breakdown, and is also the result of bacterial metabolism of methanethiol.
Where is Dimethyl Sulfide Found? [Read more…]
What are hydrocarbons?
A hydrocarbon is an organic compound consisting of only hydrogen and carbon atoms. They are group 14 hybrids, which means they contain hydrogen, as well as atoms of the carbon 14 group; carbon, silicon, germanium, tin, and lead. Carbon has 4 electrons, which means it has exactly 4 bonds to make, to be stable. Another type of hydrocarbons are aromatic hydrocarbons, which include alkanes, cycloalkanes, and alkyne-based compounds. Hydrocarbons can form more complex compounds, like cyclohexane, by bonding to themselves. This is known as catenation.
Air Pollutants: What are they, why do we abate them, where are they found and how do we address them?
Air pollutants which are also commonly referred to as Hazardous Air Pollutants, HAPs and air toxics are those pollutants known to cause serious health impacts or adverse environmental effects. The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to regulate toxic air pollutants from categories of industrial facilities. This is done in two phases, the first being technology-based, where standards for controlling the emissions of air toxics from industry are created. The top of these standards are referred to as BACT, Best Available Control Technologies and this is where GCES excels as a pollution control solution provider.
With the EPA focused on reducing 187 toxic air pollutants from being emitted there is a never ending list of hazardous air pollutants we are tasked with abating for our customers, the environment and the future. In our series on air pollutants we will review what air pollutants are, why we abate them, where they are found and how they are destroyed.
Part 1 of Abating Hazardous Air Pollutants: BTEX
BTEX: BTEX is an acronym that stands for Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylenes. These compounds are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are found in petroleum and petroleum products such as gasoline. Let’s break down each of these VOCs and explore why we abate them.
What is Benzene? Benzene, C6H6, is considered one of the elementary petrochemicals with a molecule combination of six carbon atoms and one hydrogen atom. Because its contents are only carbon and hydrogen atoms it is classified as a hydrocarbon. Benzene is colorless and highly flammable with a sweet odor.
Where is Benzene found? Benzene’s primary uses are in the fabrication of other chemicals including ethylbenzene, cumene, cyclohexane, nitrobenzene and alkylbenzene with ethylbenzene being the most common. Ethylbenzene is used to make polymers and plastics such as polystyrene and EPS. Benzene can also be found in phenol, acetones for resins and adhesives, nylon, rubbers, lubricants, dyes, detergents drugs, explosives and pesticides. With all of these uses we must further explore the need for abatement. [Read more…]