Environmental Technology Unit 7 Assessment And Sample Answers

What are the primary three gases comprising the atmosphere?

The atmosphere is made up of three gases that include nitrogen at 78%, oxygen at 21%, and argon at 0.93%.

Explain how temperature varies with altitude.

In a situation where there are no clouds, snow or rains the temperature reduces by about 5.4oF in every 1000 feet increase in altitude. However, if it is raining or snowing or there is cloud, the temperature reduces by about 3.3oF in every 1000 feet increase in altitude.

Describe the environmental lapse rate.

The lapse rate refers to the rate in which earth atmospheric temperature reduces with altitude increase or the rate at which the earth atmospheric temperature increases with increase in altitude. The environmental lapse rate refers to the actual rate at which the surrounding temperature fluctuates with height (Nathanson & Schneider, 2014).

Why are sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and lead of such important that they are criteria pollutants under the NAAQS?

Sulfur dioxide, lead, and carbon monoxide are regarded as important criteria pollutant under the NAAQS because they can be found anywhere across the United States and they can harm the environment and people health and cause damage of property, even in small portion or light exposure.

What is the range of particle size for fly ash?

Fly ash particle sizes range from 0.3 to 250 µm with a major percentage of these particles ranging from 20 to 25 µm. The mean volume-based size of particle being 112.3 µm, and over 90% of particles are less than 197. 39 µm. In addition, ash fly is typified by bimodal distribution

Explain the greenhouse effect.

The greenhouse effect refers to a natural process which wars the surface of earth. When the energy of the sun reaches the atmosphere of the earth, some of it is echoed back to space and the remaining is absorbed and radiated again via greenhouse gases.

Describe carbon capture and sequestration. Do you think it is viable?

Carbon capture and sequestration also known as carbon capture and storage refer to a low carbon technology that captures carbon dioxide (CO2) from burning of gas and coal for generation of power and from cement and steel manufacturing among other industrial facilities. The captured carbon dioxide is the shipped through ship or pipeline for permanent and safe underground storage, safeguarding it from getting into the atmosphere and adding to anthropogenic change of the climate (Herzog, 2001). The carbon capture and sequestration is viable in managing high rate of carbon emission especially in industries. However, there is that small fear of what would happen if there is a leakage in the carbon dioxide storage area.

Discuss the operation of a high volume sampler. Why does it need an air pump?

Air samplers refer to instruments employed to gather air particles samples. A high volume air sampler characteristically sample over 1500 cubic meters (m3) of air in a period of 24 hours. A high volume sampler, air is drawn inside the sampler via a quartz filter or glass fiber using a blower in order for particulate material gathers on the surface of the filter. The particles measuring 100µm and below get into the sampling inlet with no a 10µm size-selective inlet and are gathered on downstream filter. The efficiencies for collecting particles greater than 20 µm reduces with augmenting particle size, and it extensively varies with wind angle with regard to the sampler shelter roof ridge. The sampled air volume is determined by the indicator flow-rat and airborne particulate matter held on the filter might be analyzed or examined chemically using various methods. The sampler needs a pump to be able to acquire the needed flow rate without drop of pressure (Nathanson & Schneider, 2014).

If the concentration of carbon monoxide is 2.9% at a location along the highway at 70oC, what is the concentration in ppm?

1% = 10000ppm

2.9% = 2.9%/ 1% x 10000ppm

= 2.9 x 10000ppm


Describe three air pollution control strategies listed on page 374 of our textbook.

There are various strategies given to control air pollution. They include complete source shut down where the uncontrollable source of pollutant is identified and closed down completely, despite the economic challenges it may bring. Complete shutdown however normally happens during the emergencies. Another option is source location where community air zoning is done to be able to position industries and plants in areas where there are fewer individuals living in the region. Other aspects such as weather conditions and prevailing pattern of wind should be considered. The third option is process change or fuel substitutions. For instance fossil fuel should be substituted with renewable clean energy or less pollutant for instance natural gas to substitute coal. This will reduce the magnitude of pollution (Nathanson & Schneider, 2014).

Explain the operation of a wet scrubber.

Wet scrubbers are effectual devices for air pollution designed for eliminating gases and/or particles from streams of industrial exhaust. A wet scrubber works by introducing the stream of dirty gas stream with the aid of a scrubbing liquid, characteristically water. Gases or particulate are gathered in the scrubbing liquid. Normally, wet scrubbers are the most suitable devices of air pollution for gathering both gas and particulate in a single system (Nathanson & Schneider, 2014).

Describe how sound is produced and how we hear it.

Sound is produced through vibration of objects. When a body vibrates it makes the medium in its surrounding to vibrate. Air vibrations are regarded as travelling longitudinal waves and they can be heard.  Sound waves contain areas of low and high pressure regarded as rarefactions and compressions, respectively. The created sound waves travel through the ear canal to the eardrum. The eardrum permits the vibrations via the ossicles or the middle ear bones into the inner ear regarded as cochlea. There are thousands of small hair cells in the cochlea that translate the vibrations into electrical signals which are sent via the hearing nerve to the brain. The brain interprets the signal to the sound that one can understand (Nathanson & Schneider, 2014). 

Due to the large number of runners, you are starting a quarter mile behind the starting line in the New York marathon. How long (seconds) after the starting gun is shot from the starting line do you hear the sound?

Speed of sound is 345 m/s

Speed = distance/ time

the distance = ¼ miles

1 mile = 1609.34meters

¼ miles =402.33meters

time taken to hear the gun =distance/speed

time = 402.33m/345m/s 

= 1.17 s

Explain the difference between loudness and pitch.

Sound loudness relies on the sound wave amplitude. In case the sound wave amplitude is large, then loud sound will be produced.  Loudness is directly relative to square of vibration amplitude. This implies that if the sound wave amplitude is double, the sound loudness will be quadrupled. Pitch on the other hand is the sound aspect that relies on the wave vibration frequency. High vibration frequency result to shrill sound with high pitch and if a sound contains low vibration, then, it contains lower pitch. Pitch is what is used to differentiate bass and soprano in a choir. While sound loudness relies on the wave energy or amplitude, sound pitch responds to the sound frequency (Nathanson & Schneider, 2014).

Search the Internet for a hand-held sound level meter. Briefly present its specifications and cost.

The internet search directs me to Amazon which is selling Pyle PSPL25 Digital Handheld Sound Meter with C and A frequency weighting for sound audio professional and musicians.  The device operates at a frequency range of 31.5 Hz to 8 kHz and has strong temperature ability of -10 to 60oC. It accuracy level is -/+ 1.5dB and operating humidity of 10 to 90% RH, and weighing 7.20 oz. Level range is low at 30 to 100 dB and high at 50 to 130dB, and operating temperature of 0 to 40oz, and dimensions of 9.06’’ H x 2.17’’ W x 2.17’’ D. it has auto power off time, weighting, fast, slow-battery type 9 V, included. The device costs $41.39

Describe health effects of noise exposure.

Exposure to noise of high levels can result to permanent hearing loss. The extent of damage is determined by the level of loudness and the duration of exposure. Exposure to loud noise for a short term can result to temporary change in the hearing ability which includes ringing in the ears or feeling of stuffed up ears. This may disappear after a while. However, long term exposure to loud noise can result to hearing loss of permanent ringing ears effect. Loud noise can generate both psychological and physical stress, interfere with concentration and communication, reduce productivity and contribute to injuries and accidents due to inability to hear warning signals (Basner et al., 2014).

Explain how to make an effective noise barrier.

The basic purpose of noise barriers is to safeguard receivers from unwarranted noise created by road traffic. There are various factors that require to be considered in the noise barriers detailed design. These include that the barriers need to be acoustically enough and should satisfy both acoustic and non-acoustic factors. Considerations to be given in acoustical design include barriers locations, barrier materials, shapes and dimensions. In addition, non-acoustical design considerations that include maintainability, aesthetics, structural integrity and safety among other factors must be considered (Nathanson & Schneider, 2014).

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