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  1. 1. Introduction to Environmental Engineering
  2. 2. What is Environmental Engineering? Definition: The application of science and engineering knowledge and concepts to care for and/or restore our natural environment and/or solve environmental problems.
  3. 3. Who does it affect? • Everyone & Everything! – plants – insects – animals – humans – ecosystems – our planet
  4. 4. What are environmental issues? • Three areas: – air quality – land quality – water quality
  5. 5. Air Quality Poor air quality can lead to: • smog • respiratory & other illnesses • acid rain • global warming Why is air quality such a problem?
  6. 6. From where do air pollutants come? Air pollution in China
  7. 7. Air Quality • Air pollutant: A known substance in the air that can cause harm to humans and the environment. – nitrogen oxides (NOx) – sulfur oxides (SOx) – carbon monoxide (CO) – carbon dioxide (CO2) Effects of acid rain on plants
  8. 8. Greenhouse Gases & Global Warming • Global warming: An increase in the average air temperature of the Earth. • Greenhouse effect: Heat from the sun gets trapped inside the glass of a greenhouse and heats up its air. • More carbon dioxide (CO2) being released in the atmosphere traps more heat.
  9. 9. How do we reduce air pollutants? • carpool • hybrid cars • EPA government regulation • NEW: geologic carbon sequestration • alternative fuels • walk, bike or use public transportation
  10. 10. Land Quality • Land pollution: Destruction of the Earth’s surface caused by human activities and the misuse of natural resources. • Natural resources: Land and raw materials that exist naturally in the environment undisturbed by humans. • Renewable resource: A natural resource that can be replaced by a natural process. • Non-renewable resource: A natural resource that cannot be produced or re-grown or reused.
  11. 11. Examples Renewable Resources Non-Renewable Resources
  12. 12. What problems arise from land pollution? Acid mine drainage Landfills Pesticides and herbicides
  13. 13. How do we reduce land pollution?

Notes de l'éditeur

  • PowerPoint presentation for Introduction to Environmental Engineering lesson, TeachEngineering.org
  • Image sources:
    Earth: Visible Earth Gallery, NASA, http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=57723
    Plant: National Science Foundation, http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/popup/leafsensor/plant.jsp
    Polar Bears: US Fish & Wildlife Service, http://www.fws.gov/phmay2012.html
  • Image sources:
    Sky: California Environmental Protection Agency, http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/research.htm
    Meadow: National Park Service, http://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/paradise.htm
    River: National Park Service, http://www.nps.gov/olym/naturescience/elwha-faq.htm
  • Image sources (clockwise from top left):
    Smoke stacks: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory http://www.lbl.gov/Education/ELSI/pollution-main.html
    Pollution particles form smog around construction of Beijing’s National Stadium: US Dept. of Energy, http://climatemodeling.science.energy.gov/research-highlights/cutting-air-pollution-got-boost-weather-scientists-compared-emission-controls
    Exhaust pipe smoke: State of Oklahoma, http://www.ok.gov/DCS/Fleet_Management/Sustainability.html
    Black truck exhaust: County of Los Angeles, http://ridley-thomas.lacounty.gov/index.php/2011/08/page/3/

  • NO2 is one of the most prominent air pollutants, released from vehicle exhaust
    SO2 (sulphur dioxide) is produced by volcanoes and in industrial processes. A lot of coal and petroleum contain sulfur products so when these are burned (combustion) they produce sulfur dioxide. When in the presence of NO2, it mixes to form sulfuric acid, which makes acid rain!
    CO is a poisonous gas and forms from incomplete combustion
    CO2 is a greenhouse gas emitted from combustion.
    Image sources:
    Acid rain damage to coffee plantation leaves downwind of a volcano in Costa Rica: US Geological Survey, http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/ash/agric/index.html
    Effects of acid rain on a forest in the Czech Republic: Nipik, Wikimedia Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Acid_rain_woods1.JPG
  • Melting Arctic Circle ice drives polar bears closer to extinction. The Arctic is the hot-seat of global warming, with rapidly melting ice a threat to polar bears, native Arctic culture, and the world’s coastal population living in warmer climates (affected by rising ocean levels and global climate change).
    Image sources:
    Global warming graphic: 2005, Mike Edwards, Wikimedia Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Global_warming_graphic.png
    Polar bears: The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, http://globalwarming.markey.house.gov/impactzones/arctic
  • Image sources:
    Hybrid electric car: Argonne National Laboratory, http://www.transportation.anl.gov/publications/transforum/v7/v7n1/plug-in_technology.html
    Solar panels providing shade and electricity to recharge the batteries of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, http://www.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/v41_1_08/article11.shtml
    Using public transportation, like buses: National Park Service, http://www.nps.gov/cabr/planyourvisit/publictransportation.htm
  • To determine whether an item is renewable or non-renewable, look at our consumption of it. For example, wood is a natural resource because we can re-grow trees, but if we are cutting down forests at a faster rate than we are planting them, then wood becomes a non-renewable resource.
    Image sources:
    Solar panels: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, http://newscenter.lbl.gov/feature-stories/2010/02/26/renewable-energy-target/
    Hydropower: US Dept. of Energy, http://www.eere.energy.gov/basics/renewable_energy/hydropower.html
    Timber (biomass): Town of Stratham, NH, http://www.strathamnh.gov/Pages/StrathamNH_Assessing/timber
    Oil rig: California Environmental Protection Agency, http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/oil-gas/oil-gas.htm
    Turtle in oil spill in Louisiana: Lee Celano, REUTERS via State of Louisiana, http://coastal.louisiana.gov/index.cfm?md=pagebuilder&tmp=home&pid=157
    Coal train: Energy Information Administration via Tribal Energy and Environmental Information Clearinghouse, http://teeic.anl.gov/er/coal/restech/tech/index.cfm
  • Acid mine drainage is the outflow of acidic water from abandoned coal mines. This water is so acidic that it kills plant and animal life it encounters.
    The herbicides and pesticides used to kill weeds or insects while growing crops destroy the soil and pollute water sources and can cause birth defects and other diseases in humans.
    Land fills exist all over the world. Their decaying materials release methane gas. which is another greenhouse gas (much worse than carbon dioxide) and decaying materials destroy the landfill soil.
    Image sources:
    WV stream affected by acid mine drainage: US Geological Survey, http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs-050-99/
    Piles of trash in a landfill: St. Louis County, MN, http://www.stlouiscountymn.gov/LANDPROPERTY/GarbageRecycling.aspx
    Man pouring pesticides: US Environmental Protection Agency, http://www.epa.gov/oecaagct/ag101/croppestmgt.html
  • Buy bio-degradable items, which are made from natural resources that break down over time and do not cause any environmental damage or release any greenhouse gases. An easy way to do this is to always choose paper over plastic grocery bags, or better yet—reuse an old bag many, many times.
    Buy organic foods instead of processed foods because they are better for you and our environment! People are considering taxing processed foods as a disincentive to their use, and to obtain some funding to restore the environmental damage they cause.
    Always recycle so that non-biodegradable items, such as plastic, do not add to landfills or pollute the land and oceans of our planet.
    Image sources:
    Recycle logo and globe: Howard County, MD, http://cc.howardcountymd.gov/displayprimary.aspx?id=6442459560
    Go Organic (green pepper): Natural Resources Conservation Service in Iowa, http://www.ia.nrcs.usda.gov/news/brochures/publications.html
    USDA logo: US Dept. of Agriculture, http://www.ars.usda.gov/Main/docs.htm?docid=6607
    Biodegradable spoon: Amanda Wills, Earth911.com via California State Senate, http://sd07.senate.ca.gov/news/2011-05-15-clarifying-biodegradable-vs-compostable-california
    One less bag challenge: King County, WA, http://your.kingcounty.gov/solidwaste/garbage-recycling/biodegradable-bags.asp