Air Pollution and Volatile Organic Compounds

Categories: Air Pollution

Air pollution is major source, which result in thousands of death worldwide. The pollutants its sources and removal techniques are exhaustively studied by researcher’s worldwide. Air could be polluted by various means namely by human or natural means. Volcanic eruptions, wild fire, decomposition of debris are some of important sources of air pollution caused by nature. Nowadays human interference has largely contributed for polluting air to serious damaging levels.

Volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) are carbon containing compounds which vaporize at ambient conditions .

Propene is one of the highest abandoned VOC, which is emitted by vehicles and industries . Since the VOC’s can cause many irritations to humans that will leads to the deadly disease like cancer .

VOC Removal Techniques

There exist many competitive techniques for removal of the hazardous VOC’s from atmosphere. For instance thermal oxidation , photocatalysis  advance oxidation processes and others . This listed methods are advantageous in some prospect but severely fails due to problems associated with it.

Several reasons namely requirement of high energy involvement, catalyst poisoning and others. Secondly when concentration of VOC (propene) reaches below 1000 ppm these techniques becomes inefficient  . We have chosen propene as model VOC to understand its removal at low concentration by using non thermal plasma (NTP). The concentration of propene in atmosphere is estimated ~ 20 ppb. The concentration of propene is rampant due to increase in transport, industries and others  . Vehicular emission itself contribute to 300 ppm -1000ppm of propene in atmosphere . The presence of scavenger species in atmosphere react with VOC’s but in turn it could also emit CO which is highly toxic .

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Thus there is need of an eco-friendly economical method which could eliminate VOC to less harmful components like CO2 and water.

Non Thermal Plasma

Non thermal plasma is one such tool that can remove VOC and even low concentrations too without high energy requirement. Plasma is the fourth physical state of matter which contains cocktail of species (radicals, electrons, ions, atoms or molecules) the net charge of the resultant plasma quasy neutral . The species generated in plasma have lifetime of order of few nano seconds. Thus these species interact with resilient target entity cleaving its bonds and forming stable harmless by products using catalyst.

Catalyst used for VOC removal and importance of bio polymer catalyst:

Several metal used as catalyst for propene oxidation namely Pd  , Au  , Mn and mixture of metal oxides   after using these metals as catalyst we cannot regenerate them and it is going to dump in land as waste which can pollute the soil, air and water. To overcome this problem we are going to replace bio polymers as catalyst which can degrade naturally without causing any pollution.

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Air Pollution and Volatile Organic Compounds. (2021, Apr 21). Retrieved from

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