Pumping Nitrogen into the Sky

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Commercial Buildings Shrouded in Haze in Shanghai

HERE WE WORRY ABOUT WATER POLLUTION from fertilizers and wastewater generated nitrogen seeping into our ditches, canals and the Indian River Lagoon. Brine from the Vero Beach water treatment plant contains nitrogen and is mixed with excess waste water and injected 2,600 feet down into the earth. Brine containing nitrogen from water treatment in Indian River County flows into the Spoonbill Marsh.

But in in China and India, to combat air pollution, air molecules mixed with carbon monoxide and nitrogen are pumped into the sky. The worst air pollution levels in the world are in Southeast Asia, particularly in China and India.

Carbon dioxide and nitrogen, which can cause death, are pumped into the sky every second.

According to a 6/2/14 article in Zero Hedge by Tyler Durden, pumping carbon monoxide and nitrogen into the sky is only one of China’s “ridiculous, bizarre and even insane contraptions, projects and ideas for eradicating pollution.” Others include sky watering skyscrapers, smog fighting drones and vacuuming it up. But impregnating the air with liquid nitrogen has become the best smog fighting chemicals yet.”

The way the pumping solution works is that a fine mist of 320 degree fahrenheit liquid nitrogen is pumped into the air.

Emily Carino, a post doctoral researcher in Chemical Engineering with a Ph.D from the University of Texas was quoted in a 12/19/13 article in Quartz as saying “when liquid nitrogen is dispersed in the air, it readily absorbs heat from the surrounding atmosphere, causing water vapor to instantly condense. The condensate would drag down the particulate matter along with it as it falls to earth.”

Further, “the mechanism is sound, though there could certainly be consequences associated with creating a rain of pollutants…liquid nitrogen is dangerous when used improperly, causing severe cold burns on the skin and even asphyxiation.”

What about the carbon dioxide?

According to David Cox, Ph.D, a well-known scientist at the Florida Conservancy, “what these “geo-engineers” were trying to do was reduce particulate pollution by releasing very cold liquid nitrogen into the atmosphere, where it would chill water vapor causing it to condense, fall to the ground, and in that proess bring with it airborne particulates.

The possible problem with this potential approach to reducing air pollution, is what happens with all that material when it comes out of the air onto the surface of the planet?

It’s an interesting subject, but, like most geo-engineering techniques, unitended consequences loom over the horizon.”

Air pollution in Shanghai, China : Tourist with protective masks visit the Bund in dense haze

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