Lesson 9, Topic 1
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Alkanes as fuels notes

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  • If you burn alkanes in plenty of oxygen you produce carbon dioxise and water – this is complete combustion
  • If there is not enough oxygen you will produce a mixture of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, carbon and water – this is incomplete combustion

Pollutants formed from fossil fuels include:

  1. Carbon monoxide

  2. Unburnt hydrocarbons

  3. Carbon particulates

  4. Oxides of sulfur and nitrogen

  • The oxygen in your bloodstream is carried around by haemoglobin

  • Carbon monoxide is better at binding to haemoglobin than oxygen is, so it binds to the haemoglobin in your bloodstream before the oxygen can

  • This means that less oxygen can be carried around your body, leading to oxygen deprivation

  • At very high concentrations carbon monoxide can be fatal

  • Acid rain can be caused by burning fossil fuels that contain sulfur. The sulfur burns to produce sulfur dioxide gas which then enters the atmosphere, dissolves in the moisture and is concerted into sulfuric acid

  • Oxides of nitrogen are produced when the high pressure and temperature in a car engine cause the nitrogen and oxygen in the air to react together . When oxides of nitrogen escape into the atmosphere they dissolve in moisture and form nitric acid which can fall ass acid rain

  • Acid rain destroys trees and vegetation as well as corroding buildings and statues and killing fish in lakes

Catalytic converter decreases carbon monoxide and nitrogen
monoxide emissions from internal combustion engines by:

  • Adsorption of CO and NO molecules onto the surface of the platinum catalyst, resulting
    in the weakening of bonds and chemical reaction
  • Desorption of CO2 and N2 product molecules from the surface of the catalyst