Q: What air pollutants does the burning of fossil fuels release?
What air pollutants does the burning of fossil fuels release?
Flexi Says: Primary pollutants released by burning fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and gas:
- Carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Both are colorless, odorless gases. CO is toxic to both plants and animals. CO and CO2 are both greenhouse gases.
- Nitrogen oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Both are greenhouse gases. Nitrogen oxides contribute to acid rain.
- Sulfur oxides including sulfur dioxide (SO2) and sulfur trioxide (SO3). Sulfur oxides are components of acid rain.
- Particulates such as ash and dust. These can cause respiratory problems.
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including methane and dioxin.
- Toxic metals such as lead and mercury.