Sulhphur Dioxide - SO2
Sulphur dioxide (SO2) is a colourless gas with a characteristic smell that is readily soluble in water.
What is sulphur dioxide?
Sulphur dioxide is an irritating gas with a characteristic smell and taste. In addition, this gas is the main combustion product of the connection between sulphur and oxygen. The largest emitters of sulphur dioxide are industry, refineries and power stations. Sulphur dioxide is particularly harmful to plants, animals and people. This gas is released during the combustion of sulphurous fossil fuels, such as petroleum, lignite or coal. Besides industry, refineries and power stations, the heating of buildings and agriculture and horticulture also play a role. The largest natural source of sulphur dioxide emissions is volcanoes.
What is the problem of sulphur dioxide?
The emission of sulphur dioxide is being reduced by switching to low-sulphur fuels. Besides the local problems caused by sulphur dioxide, including respiratory problems, lung problems and irritations, a high concentration of sulphur dioxide can also cause acid rain and smog. Smog is air pollution that is visible to the naked eye as concentrations of pollutant gases in the air increase.
What sulphur dioxide does with nature
Sulphur dioxide causes acid rain, as the gas reacts with water particles in the air to form sulphuric acid. This acid rain has a particularly high impact on nature, causing damage to forests, crops and buildings. When lakes and water become acidic, the ecosystem changes, with certain species of fish and amphibians becoming less abundant.
What sulhur dioxide does with the health of humans
Breathing in sulphur dioxide at high concentrations can cause problems in breathing and the gas irritates the airways. People with asthma, lung diseases or respiratory problems are particularly sensitive. The absorption of sulphur dioxide in the mucous membranes of the nose and in the upper respiratory tract can result in serious health effects.
How can satellite data help with the suphur dioxide problem ?
Satellite data can show the concentration of sulphur dioxide in the air. It is also possible to map important sulphur dioxide sources such as refineries, industry, but also volcanoes. Based on a monitoring system of sulphur dioxide in a certain area, targeted policy decisions can be made to reduce emissions. Satellite data provides a good insight into risk areas and can also be used to test the effectiveness of measures.
- Sulphur dioxide (SO2) is a colourless gas with a characteristic smell and taste.
- Sulphur dioxide comes from sources such as industry, refineries, power plants, as well as natural emissions such as volcanoes.
- Inhalation of sulphur dioxide can cause irritation of the respiratory tract with serious health effects.
- Sulphur dioxide is the cause of acid rain and smog.