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Effects of burning


Changes in matter ] Importance of chemical reactions ] Chemical Reactions ] On-line practice ]

During combustion of fuels in power stations and vehicles, harmful gases and solid particles are produced and released into the surrounding air.  These harmful substances are called air pollutants.

Air pollutants Sources Properties Effects
Carbon monoxide Incomplete combustion of fuels in motor vehicles Colourless, odourless and very poisonous gas Brain damage, death
Oxides of nitrogen Nitrogen combines with oxygen in car engines at high temperature Colourless, poisonous gases Breathing problems, lung cancer and acid rain
Lead compounds Lead compounds are added to petrol to ensure smooth running of the vehicle.  Exhaust from burning fuel in motor vehicles contains lead Poisonous solid particles containing lead Brain damage especially in young children
Soot or carbon Burning fuels such as coal and oil Black solid particles Dirties buildings; breathing problems
Carbon dioxide Burning of fuels Colourless, odourless gas Greenhouse effect
Sulphur dioxide Burning fuels in power stations and factories Colourless, choking and poisonous gas Breathing problems, irritates eyes and throat, bronchitis and lung cancer, acid rain

Energy Transfers in Chemical Reactions ] [ Effects of burning ]