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Author Topic: Where does all the smoke go ?  (Read 12618 times)

Offline neilep

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Where does all the smoke go ?
« on: 27/03/2006 03:46:32 »
I say, what a lovely new forum.:)

Over billions of years, there's been  rather lot of fumes expelled into the atmosphere. Where does it go ?

Does it come down in precipitation ?

Does it get re-absorbed into the environment ?

Where does it all go ?



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Offline ukmicky

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Re: Where does all the smoke go ?
« Reply #1 on: 27/03/2006 04:31:14 »
quote:
Where does all the smoke go ?


well in my local boozer it rises up turning the celling yellow, unless that is you happen to live in Scotland where they've banned it:)

Michael
 

another_someone

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Re: Where does all the smoke go ?
« Reply #2 on: 27/03/2006 05:27:31 »
quote:
Originally posted by neilep

I say, what a lovely new forum.:)

Over billions of years, there's been  rather lot of fumes expelled into the atmosphere. Where does it go ?

Does it come down in precipitation ?

Does it get re-absorbed into the environment ?

Where does it all go ?




If you mean by fumes, the visible plumes of smoke rising above the fires etc,; most of what makes that visible is I expect particulate matter, which will get washed down with the rain.  The longer lasting gases that rise up are typically not that visible.



George
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Where does all the smoke go ?
« Reply #3 on: 27/03/2006 06:14:20 »
Thanks George.

What about the non visible fumes then ? do they linger ? or escape into space over a period of years and years ?...presumably they accumulate to add to global warming perhaps ?

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Offline daveshorts

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Re: Where does all the smoke go ?
« Reply #4 on: 27/03/2006 11:42:48 »
The carbon dioxide will be used by plants to produce food

The sulphur and nitrogen oxides will react with water to form acids.

not sure what else there would be.
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: Where does all the smoke go ?
« Reply #5 on: 27/03/2006 11:47:33 »
Neil, I suspect, they do not vanish into space, but are pulled back to the Earth and recycled as the Earth performs another detox.

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Offline tony6789

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Re: Where does all the smoke go ?
« Reply #6 on: 27/03/2006 15:21:07 »
it stays invisible in the air it is called "polution"

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another_someone

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Re: Where does all the smoke go ?
« Reply #7 on: 28/03/2006 14:38:49 »
As people have said it all depends upon what it is.

Oxides, whether of carbon, nitrogen, sulphur, can all form acids when mixed with water, which can then either be absorbed by plants, or converted into salts (e.g. carbonates, sulphates, nitrates), which may themselves in some cases be absorbed by plants, algae, or bacteria, or just laid down as sediment.

Again, it also matters not only what it is, but how much of it there is.  A little is often useful and beneficial, a lot can overload the environment and is what we regard as pollution.

Ofcourse, there is the other trade-off between things that are highly reactive (like oxides of sulphur or nitrogen, that can form quite aggressive acids); or things that are very non-reactive (like CFC's) that can remain in the atmosphere for many years; or things like ozone, which can be very toxic but quickly break down into O2, which is very safe; or methane, which itself is a greenhouse gas, but will oxydize to water and CO2.

Some will escape to space, but very little of it, and then mostly the lightest stuff (water, particularly after being disassociated into hydrogen and oxygen, is probably the most likely to escape).

It also depends upon how high up the gases go.  Gases will behave very differently at high altitudes, at cold temperatures and with greater exposure to UV light, than they will at low altitudes (this was the problem with CFC's no-one had anticipated their behaviour at high altitudes).

Still, of all the exhaust products we emit, water and CO2 are still the largest part of them, even if maybe not the components we worry about the most.



George
 

sharkeyandgeorge

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Re: Where does all the smoke go ?
« Reply #8 on: 30/03/2006 10:36:00 »
lots of the particulates and many of the gasses are absorbed and stored by the oceans where they are eventualy converted by plants and animals to waste products and sink to the bottom (particulates can sometimes skip this process and just sink) where they are turned into rock and either go back in to the crust and get renewed or move up and become land ( generally ocenaic rock are far younger than land rocks due tothis process and erosion) i belive this is called the planetery carbon cycle (but dont quote me) when you think about the cliffs of dover they are made of shells but the reason that they are is that before these shells were laid down there was an awful lot of volcanic activity which pumped vast amounts of gasses into the atmosphere which then found theyre way into the oceans which gave lots of the right materials for creatures to start growing shells hence the abundance of shell growing creatures in such a short space of time.

whew thats a biggy for me hope it helps

J.B.S Haldane on the perforated eardrums which were a consequence of his pressure experiments "the drum generally heals up; and if a hole remains in it, although one is somewhat deaf, one can blow tobacco smoke out of  the ear in question, which is a social accomplishment".
 

Offline Hadrian

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Re: Where does all the smoke go ?
« Reply #9 on: 31/03/2006 18:45:35 »
SMOKE consists of solid microscopic particles formed as a byproduct of
combustion, along with heat and light, all in varying amounts. Certain
gaseous materials are also formed during combustion. Air and the gaseous
materials absorb the heat of combustion, and become less dense than the
surrounding air. The embedded microscopic particles, or "smoke" rise in the
less dense air and gas. As they rise, they cool, and mix in clean air
through turbulent mixing. When the heated air and gases cool to the
temperature of the surrounding air, it no longer rises. But by that time the
smoke particles have been diluted or dispersed enough to no longer be
visible.



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Re: Where does all the smoke go ?
« Reply #9 on: 31/03/2006 18:45:35 »

 

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