Green House Gases Resulting from Emissions
The world is experiencing rapid industrial growth as well as increased motorization of transport. The development has necessitated an increase in the generation of power to drive the plants as well as propelling motor vehicles. Increased population has also inflated the demand for electricity for domestic use. The trend has led to an unsustainable human interaction with the environment as the increased number of vehicles is leading to increased emissions. The increased usage of coal in industries is also increasing the emission of greenhouse gasses and thus polluting the environment. This paper highlights the unsustainable human practices that promote air pollution and these are; coal, persistent use of petroleum as a fuel for vehicles and the increased use of private vehicles. The paper further identifies the solutions to the above problem and these are the usage of biofuels, adoption of hydrogen as a fuel, use of bicycles, increased use of public transport, the adoption of the wind and solar as forms of clean energy.
Fuel emissions are the waste gasses coming from the exhaust pipes after the combustion of diesel or petrol in internal combustion engines both the mobile and immobile. The engines include vehicles, motorcycles, and stationary machines like generators, mills, and compressors, among others. The effluents lead to the formation of the plume in areas where the concentration of engines is high, and this leads to reduced air quality through the introduction of toxic gasses and the particulate matter that leads to the formation of plume and fog hence interfering with visibility and introducing toxins into the air. The problem thus leads to health complications for both fauna and flora. Some of the wastes associated with these emissions are carbon dioxide, nitrogen, carbon monoxide, water vapor, and the particulate matter such as soot. Fuel emissions are significant because they have a severe impact on the environment and human life. The accumulation of carbon dioxide in the air leads to increased trapping of the greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere and hence raising the atmospheric temperature. The result of the above is increased water evaporation, due to the growing trapping of heat, and the disruption of the rain patterns. Also, the gasses affect the quality of breathing air and thus exposing human beings and animals to respiratory illnesses.
Over the last 100 years, scientific studies have revealed that the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have increased due to increased industrialization and by 2014, the concentration of the gas had risen by 397 parts per million3, and this constitutes 40% increase from the mid-1800s. The change, therefore, translates to an increase of 2 parts per million3 in the last decade and energy use contributes the largest volume of emissions. In the energy sector, carbon dioxide is the dominant effluent coming from the oxidation of carbon in fuels. Also, the emission of carbon dioxide from energy composes 3?4 of the greenhouse gasses and this amount to 60% of emissions at the global level. Economic development has a direct correlation with the increase in carbon emissions, and this is due to the usage of fossil fuel in industries. In the transport sector, the number of vehicles has had a great impact on pollution as the road traffic has been responsible for 3?4 of emissions related to transport and these has increased by 68% since the 1990s. The problem worsens due to the growing number of vehicles on the road and mainly personal vehicles as they lead to the presence of a largely underutilized fleet of vehicles. The above data, therefore, shows an undesirable trend in the globe as people substantially engage in activities that are not environmentally friendly and thus exposing the natural air to pollutants that greatly interferes with the air composition. Studies reveal that between the late 1980s and 2000s oil and coal contributed to 40% of carbon dioxide emissions across the world but the amount of emissions provided by the two energy sources differ in various areas. The more pollutants reach the atmosphere, the more harm they cause on the earth hence people must seek ways to reverse the trend.
Coal is a widely used fossil fuel, and its abundance is set to serve the world for the next 150 years under the current levels of exploitation and the fuel contributes 40% of the global electricity supply and there are over 1200 coal driven power generation stations in the world. By 2011, the United States industrial sector used 72 million short tons of coal and the methods are coke, making, industrial applications as well as the generation of electric power. Coal is also an important fuel in the cement production, steelmaking and combined heat and electricity as well as process heating. It is an organic rock that contains carbon and other components and thus when its combustion takes place, it significantly impacts the environment through the release of carbon dioxide into the environment. The other emissions resulting from coal are oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, arsenic, mercury, nickel, chromium, acid gasses and heavy metals, thorium and uranium as well as hydrocarbons. The combustion of coal leads to the production or particulate matter, and these are very tiny particles that contaminate the air. In the light of the emissions that are associated with the usage of coal, it is worth noting that the fuel is not a clean source. The extended usage of coal, therefore, leads to increased level of emissions and thus contributing to adverse impacts on the environment.
Petroleum oil in the form of diesel and gasoline has been widely used as a source of fuel for vehicles, generators as other machines. Diesel is widely used as fuel for heavy trucks as well as light trucks and the smoke that billows from their exhaust systems is a leading air pollutant. Energy is a major issue in the transport especially in the urban settings where there are large fleets of vehicles. Scholars do agree that oil shall remain the dominant source of fuel in the road transport and this implies that the impact of air pollution will continue affecting the world. The road traffic that is dominated by oil fuel is responsible for the largest volume of carbon dioxide emissions associated with transport, and the figures stand at 18%. Regarding the above information, the usage of petroleum fuel on roads has negative impacts on the environment and thus there is a need for adjustment.
In the wake of increased growth of economies, individuals are advancing financially and thus they end up having their private cars and these can be more than one in a homestead. The trend is not environmental friendly as it leads to the congestion of vehicles on the roads and thus leading to increased emission of tailpipe gasses. However, the trend leads to the greater emission of carbon due to increased fuel consumption triggered by the presence of many cars and the many numbers of trips. Owners of private vehicles make unnecessary trips towards various destinations, and this is due to the convenience of their movement. According to Issues for Global Environmental Strategies the private vehicles and light trucks bear the largest responsibility for emission of air pollutants and the reason us that these vehicles have a tendency of making numerous trips at a given time. The increased ownership of private automobiles has led to the diminished role of non-motorized transport, and this trend is common in cities across the western world including the United States but in Asia people highly use bicycles. Due to the demands of capitalist economies where time is a rare commodity, walking and cycling is now diminishing as people opt to use personal cars to save time. The vehicles also contribute to traffic jams and the time spent in idling mode also contributes to high levels of emissions in towns. Regarding the above issues, the increased use of personal vehicles has significantly contributed to the problem of air pollution.
Industries can make adjustments in their firms to shift from the usage of fossil fuels to the biofuel that is organic. Unlike the conventional petroleum fuel that is inorganic in nature, biodiesel is organic and does not have a high level of emissions. Also, the new form of fuel does not demand significant changes in the traditional internal combustion engines and thus it is not hard to for firms to implement the changes. Biofuel is made from biological materials, and some of them are rapeseed, maize, and sugar cane among others. The biofuels come in various types such as biogas, biodiesel, ethanol, and vegetable oil among others that are made of crops. Since the plants are readily available worldwide, firms should invest on biofuel to replace the usage of coal and petroleum fuel. The biofuels have many strengths because apart from having no emissions, they recycle carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, unlike the fossil fuels that adds the same. In Europe the production of biodiesel is on the rise and 2006, the continent had a production level of about 50 million tons of biodiesel. The implementation of the change from inorganic to organic fuel can take place gradually as it is possible to mix the two or entirely replace the former. Germany has about 2000 pure biofuel filling stations and thus the fact proves that the option of using organic fuel is viable in any country only if people are willing to use the fuel. The Biodiesel and Bioethanol thus provide industrialists and motorists with an option for clean energy that is environmentally friendly and which does not require high costs of implementation.
Hydrogen also appears as a solution to the problem of increased levels of air pollutants. Hydrogen is a clean source of fuel as its machines are mute and the only effluent they emit is water the engines are also very efficient as they minimize the wastage of power through reducing the side effects such as vibrations. However, the use of hydrogen as a fuel has got some challenges as it demands costly changes in firms as they will have to purchase new engines. Also, motorists who already have vehicles cannot switch to the use of hydrogen because it is not compatible with conventional vehicles. Another issue that complicates the usage of hydrogen is that it has a high volatility at room temperatures and thus it may require cooling or compression to keep it at a non-reactive state.
|Clean sources of energy||Harmful sources of energy|
|Solar||Coal generated electricity|
A table showing the clean versus hazardous energy sources
Adopting the usage of bicycles is also an avenue of reducing air pollution. Bicycles do not have emissions because they are propelled by energy transferred from the cyclers body to them through the pedals. Bicycles are convenient as they are not subject to traffic jams and that they can easily access the deeper areas in a city compared to vehicles. Cycling helps to reduce the number of cars on the road and thus lowering the level of emissions coming from vehicles. The another advantage of bicycles is that they are cheap and affordable to many people and the maintenance costs are very low compared to cars, and thus the majority of the citizens can afford to own a bike. Netherlands provides an example of countries that have significantly embraced cycling to minimize air pollution. In the country, people of all ages ranging from children to seniors uses bicycles as a form of transport for short journeys of up to five kilometers in a day, and they do an average of 900 kilometers annually. The country, therefore, proves to others that the use of bicycles is a very cheap alternative to motorized transport and that it does not contribute to the emission of greenhouse gasses.
Public transportation is also a method of lowering the level of emission of gasses into the atmosphere. Public transportation can be in the form of rail carriages, ferries, and buses among others. The mode is helpful as it helps to minimize the number of vehicles on the road while increasing the number of passengers. A single bus can remove several cars from the road and transport many people. The achievement thus reduces the level of emissions because the vehicle will emit less than what several cars will do but it will carry many passengers as well. Netherlands is a country that has invested more on public transport and people greatly travel by buses as opposed to personal vehicles. The option of using public transport is, therefore, a viable option as proven by Netherlands and this can substantially lower the level of emissions.
|Private Transport||Public Transport|
|Scores of cars on the road||Fewer vehicles on the road|
|Underutilization of vehicles||Maximum utilization of vehicles|
|Contributes to more carbon emission||Lowers the level of carbon emissions|
A comparison of private and public car transport
Solar power is another clean energy alternative as it has very low concentrations of carbon emission. The another advantage is that one the solar system is installed in a building, the costs of maintenance are subtle as the solar panels trap the natural light from sun rays and convert the same into electric energy. About 2/3 of the carbon dioxide emissions come from the generation of energy, heating, and transportation. Since the solar power generation involves just the conversion of natural light into energy and does not require heating and transport, it is then a solution to the high levels of emission. Companies can, therefore, adopt the use of solar power to minimize the usage of petroleum as well as generators as a source of power, and this will substantially reduce the emission of carbon. Also, people can also install solar systems in their homes to minimize the usage of coal-generated power as well as avoiding the use of generators in the case of blackouts.
Wind energy is an inexhaustible source of energy that does not cause harm to the environment. The form of power only requires the installation of windmill/blades on an open field and the moving air turns the blades to generate power. Generating wind power, therefore, does not cause the emission of greenhouse gasses and thus it poses as a solution to the problem of air pollution. Companies, therefore, can invest in constructing windmills to generate clean energy for their operations and hence reducing the reliance on the coal generated electricity and petroleum products as a source of power. Through the reduction of the dependence on the above sources of power, the wind energy will, therefore, contribute to the solutions for the greenhouse gas emissions.
Fuel emissions are the gaseous waste that comes as a result of the burning of fuel in the internal combustion engines. The engines may be for automobiles or the static machines such as plants, generators, and compressors among others. The effluents pollute the air by increasing the level of greenhouse gasses, and the particulate matter and thus posing a health hazard to plant and animal life. Also, the gasses trap excess heat in the atmosphere and thus lowering the levels of rainfall and increasing the rate of evaporation. Rapid industrialization coupled with increased motorization have promoted the growth of green gas houses due to the high amounts of carbon and other gasses emitted from the combustion of coal and petroleum fuel respectively. There is increased usage of coal across the world for purposes of generating electricity and other industrial uses and these leads to the increasing emission of greenhouse gasses. Oil is the dominant fuel for road transport, and this contributes to 18% of the emissions in the transportation sector. The usage of private car as a form of transportation has increased the number of vehicles on the roads and thus increasing the level of emissions from the road transport.
However, there are possible solutions to the above problem. Biofuel is a viable solution as it provides Biodiesel and Bioethanol that replaces or mix with the traditional diesel and petrol respectively. The form of fuel is compatible with the conventional engines, and it does not emit carbon and instead recycle the atmospheric carbon dioxide. The fuel can, therefore, reduce emissions in vehicles and factories. Hydrogen is also a clean energy alternative that reduces noise and emissions as it only emits water. However, it may take long to implement usage of hydrogen. Bicycles offer a clean form of energy as bikes draw energy from human bodies and hence eliminating the problem of emissions. The bikes are convenient for short journeys and thus reducing the unnecessary usage of vehicles and thus lowering the level of emissions. High usage of public transport also helps to solve the problem of greenhouse gasses as it reduces the number of underutilized personal cars on the roads by facilitating the transport of masses on a few vehicles. Solar power usage contributes towards the reduction of emissions as it lowers the reliance on coal-generated energy as well as mi minimizing the use of generators. Solar energy entails conversion of light into electricity hence posing as a clean power source. Wind power is also a clean source of energy whose generation does not have emissions, and the wind is freely available hence there is no environmental impact of generating wind power once the windmills are in place. The above discussion, therefore, shows the contributors of global warming as well as the solutions for the same.