14.3 Water Pollution

Water is essential for life. Without water there would be no life. We usually take water as granted for its purity, but we must ensure the quality of water. Pollution of water originates from human activities. Through different paths, pollution reaches surface or ground water. Easily identified source or place of pollution is called as point source. e.g., municipal and industrial discharge pipes where pollutants enter the water-source. Non point sources of pollution are those where a source of pollution cannot be easily identified, e.g., agricultural run off (from farm,…

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14.2.2 Stratospheric Pollution

Formation and Breakdown of Ozone The upper stratosphere consists of considerable amount of ozone (O3), which protects us from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiations (­ 255 nm) coming from the sun. These radiations cause skin cancer (melanoma) in humans. Therefore, it is important to maintain the ozone shield. Ozone in the stratosphere is a product of UV radiations acting on dioxygen (O2) molecules. The UV radiations split apart molecular oxygen into free oxygen (O) atoms. These oxygen atoms combine with the molecular oxygen to form ozone. O2 (g) → O…

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14.2.1 Tropospheric Pollution

Tropospheric pollution occurs due to the presence of undesirable solid or gaseous particles in the air. The following are the major gaseous and particulate pollutants present in the troposphere: Gaseous air pollutants: These are oxides of sulphur, nitrogen and carbon, hydrogen sulphide, hydrocarbons, ozone and other oxidants. Particulate pollutants: These are dust, mist, fumes, smoke, smog etc. Gaseous air pollutants (a) Oxides of Sulphur: Oxides of sulphur are produced when sulphur containing fossil fuel is burnt. The most common species, sulphur dioxide, is a gas that is poisonous to both…

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14.2 Atmospheric Pollution

The atmosphere that surrounds the earth is not of the same thickness at all heights. There are concentric layers of air or regions and each layer has different density. The lowest region of atmosphere in which the human beings along with other organisms live is called troposphere. It extends up to the height of ~ 10 km from sea level. Above the troposphere, between 10 and 50 km above sea level lies stratosphere. Troposphere is a turbulent, dusty zone containing air, much water vapour and clouds. This is the region…

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14.1 Environmental Pollution

Environmental pollution is the effect of undesirable changes in our surroundings that have harmful effects on plants, animals and human beings. A substance, which causes pollution, is known as pollutant. Pollutants can be solid, liquid or gaseous substances present in greater concentration than in natural abundance and are produced due to human activities or due to natural happenings. Do you know, an average human being requires nearly 12-15 times more air than the food. So, even small amounts of pollutants in the air become significant compared to similar levels present…

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Unit 14 – Environmental Chemistry

You have already studied about environment in your earlier classes. Environmental studies deal with the sum of all social, economical, biological, physical and chemical interrelations with our surroundings. In this unit the focus will be on environmental chemistry. Environmental chemistry deals with the study of the origin, transport, reactions, effects and fates of chemical species in the environment. Let us discuss some important aspects of environmental chemistry.

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Unit 13 – Hydrocarbons – Summary

Hydrocarbons are the compounds of carbon and hydrogen only. Hydrocarbons are mainly obtained from coal and petroleum, which are the major sources of energy. Petrochemicals are the prominent starting materials used for the manufacture of a large number of commercially important products. LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) and CNG (compressed natural gas), the main sources of energy for domestic fuels and the automobile industry, are obtained from petroleum. Hydrocarbons are classified as open chain saturated (alkanes) and unsaturated (alkenes and alkynes), cyclic (alicyclic) and aromatic, according to their structure. The important…

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13.6 Carcinogenicity And Toxicity

Benzene and polynuclear hydrocarbons containing more than two benzene rings fused together are toxic and said to possess cancer producing (carcinogenic) property. Such polynuclear hydrocarbons are formed on incomplete combustion of organic materials like tobacco, coal and petroleum. They enter into human body and undergo various biochemical reactions and finally damage DNA and cause cancer. Some of the carcinogenic hydrocarbons are given below.

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13.5.6 Directive influence of a functional group in monosubstituted benzene

When monosubstituted benzene is subjected to further substitution, three possible disubstituted products are not formed in equal amounts. Two types of behaviour are observed. Either ortho and para products or meta product is predominantly formed. It has also been observed that this behaviour depends on the nature of the substituent already present in the benzene ring and not on the nature of the entering group. This is known as directive influence of substituents. Reasons for ortho/ para or meta directive nature of groups are discussed below: Ortho and para directing…

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13.5.5 Properties

Physical properties Aromatic hydrocarbons are non- polar molecules and are usually colourless liquids or solids with a characteristic aroma. You are also familiar with naphthalene balls which are used in toilets and for preservation of clothes because of unique smell of the compound and the moth repellent property. Aromatic hydrocarbons are immiscible with water but are readily miscible with organic solvents. They burn with sooty flame. Chemical properties Arenes are characterised by electrophilic substitution reactions. However, under special conditions they can also undergo addition and oxidation reactions. Electrophilic substitution reactions…

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