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Industrial pollution

Industrial pollution

E810/0412

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Credit

ROBERT BROOK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROBERT BROOK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Industrial pollution. Sulphurous smoke pouring from a smokestack. Smoke, unlike the gases emitted from combustion reactions, is visible. It consists of solid particles like soot and partially burnt impurities. The colour depends upon the material being burnt. This is a metal-processing factory. A common impurity in metal ores and also in coal, is sulphur. A range of sulphur-containing chemicals can be produced in the smoke and through reactions in the atmosphere, including sulphur dioxide and sulphuric acid (both responsible for acid rain). There are strict regulations on sulphur emissions into the atmosphere. Photographed in the West Midlands, England.

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