What Is NOx And Why Should We Care To Reduce Its Emission?

At Aerinox-inc., we know the effects that NOx Emissions have upon our planet, which is why we strive to educate and and offer products such as our SCR Reduction system which helps to reduce NOx Emissions up to 90%! Our SCR Emissions system is second to none and the knowledge we have garnered over the years is used to ensure the best solutions available are offered to you!

NOx Emission And Why We Should Care About It

NOx Emissions Effect Our Planet

NOx emissions have adverse effects upon all life forms, from humans and large animals, to microorganisms and plant life. It also Effects the earths atmosphere, which as you can imagine is a game we should play very carefully and consciously. It is for this reason that NOx emissions are strictly regulated in the U.S by the Environmental Protection Agency. Which has outlined allowable levels of NOx emission, as well as useful systems that can be used for its reduction. But what is NOx and where does it come from?

NOx Explained

NOx is a shortened term for mono-nitrogen oxides which is comprised of Nitric Oxide (NO) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2). Both of these oxides are created from the reaction process of Nitrogen and Oxygen gases that are emitted into the air amidst the combustion process. The occurs primarily when high temperatures are present. Considering that NOx is emitted in the process of combustion, areas where a lot of combustion occurs, such as large cities, factories, and regions with a lot of automobile usage tend to have the highest levels of air pollution caused by NOx. When speaking of visual air pollution, such as smog and acid rain, NOx is a main culprit. Where there is less NOx in the atmosphere overall, generally visible air pollution is much less noticeable.

NOx Emissions and It’s Numerous Adverse Effects

As mentioned above, NOx pollution effects many things in our world and is not just limited to humans. For that reasons it has become a target by environmentalists as it has far reaching implications which are both noticeable and alarming.

What Are The Various Sources Where NOx Is Formed?

Man is not the only source of NOx emission, we just happen to be creating the most of it in the concentrated areas where we reside. There is certainly at least one natural source, that being during thunderstorms where extremely high temperatures are produced from lightening. The extreme heat from a thunderstorm splits Nitrogen molecules, but as such, does not create much NOx. However, even this can result in acid rain if the Nitrous Oxide forms molecular compounds with the water in precipitation. It is for this reason, regions where thunderstorms are prevalent as well as humid often receive acid rain relatively frequently.

Fertilizer that is used in the agricultural process also creates NOx emissions. This is caused by what is known as nitrogen fixation by microorganisms. Nitrogen fixation is the process where Nitrogen in the atmosphere is changed into Ammonia. This process frees up the Nitrogen in its diatomic form, and can be used in many other ways. Though, it should be noted that Nitrgoen Fixation is both crucial and essential for every form of life. This is because Nitrogen is required to biosynthesize the building blocks for every life form, plants and animals alike.

Finally, there are three industrial and man made areas where NOx is created through a combustion process. Those being thermal NOx, fuel NOx, and prompt NOx. Thermal NOx is created when high temperatures cause oxidation of the diatomic nitrogen found in combustion air. The rate NOx is formed relies upon the the temperature and time allowed of the nitrogen at a specific temperature, which lies around 2900 degrees Fahrenheit. There are three reactions that can occur to nitrogen which produces thermal NOx, and fortunately, with due diligence, all three are reversible.

Fuel NOx emissions are the largest contributor of NOx and mainly arises from the use of coal and oil. It is known that the same process for the most part takes place for the creation of NOx due to Nitrogen in the fuels being exposed to high temperatures, even though the exact process is still not entirely understood. When combustion of oil and coal take place, they create the largest source of NOx that we have yet to find out. When the combustion of oil occurs, around 50% of the total emissions is NOx. When the combustion of coal occurs, that ratio rises to about 80% of the total emissions being NOx. This is the reason for governmental regulation, as every other source pales in comparison.

Lastly, Prompt NOx is the result of Fuel NOx and Thermal Nox entering our atmosphere. It is caused by atmospheric Nitrogen reacting with radicals which include Carbon (C), Carbon Hydride (CH), and Carbon Hydrid Fragments (CH2) that were derived from the combustion of fuels. The amount of Prompt NOx is limited, and therefore only concerned by those who are looking to determine exact amounts of NOx emissions.

How NOx Effects Living Organisms and Our Planet

For living creatures, NOx effects our health in many ways. The chief concern is how the small particles are able to damage our lungs by entering into sensitive tissue areas. This has terrible consequences and can lead to premature death, respiratory ailments and diseases, and can even contribute to heart disease. That is if it directly enters the lungs on it own, but is also hurts us when it takes the form of Ozone.

Without getting into the technical aspect of it, we have all “smelled” Ozone after a lightening storm, where the air smell electrified or almost like chlorine. This is the result of dioxygen, which is formed from three different oxygen molecules that break down in the lower atmosphere to form itself after contacting ultraviolet light and/or electrical discharge. Ozone effect respiratory systems by damaging lung tissue and reducing overall it’s overall function. Those most harmed by Ozone are children, the elderly, people who are sick, and those with already existing respiratory ailments such as asthmatics. Ozone travels with the wind, which is why there is such concern over places such as China, where air pollution is well beyond anything considered acceptable. But don’t think you’re safe if you don’t live in a place like China, even the American Lung Association has identified that roughly 50% of Americans live in regions of the U.S where Ozone levels do not meet the associations Ozone compliance requirements.

Finally, NOx continually changes many common organic chemicals which end up creating numerous toxic products such as nitroarenes nitrosamines and nitrate radicals. These toxic products can often cause biological mutations in many life forms that were unfortunate enough to be exposed to it. Other odd means for NOx to transform into Ozone are being discovered, the most recent being the formation of Nitryl Chloride which occurs in many coastal areas when NOx comes into contact with salt mist sprayed by crashing waves.

In The End

Hopefully this article helped to educate those who were in the dark about NOx emissions and the terrible effects it has upon ourselves, and our planet. If you are interested in ways to reduce NOx Emissions, please check out the Aerinox.inc SCR NOx emission reducing system, because the more people know, the more they will ask for change. Hope you all breath easy, and live long and prosper!

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