The Significance Of Pollution Management And Appropriate Disposal Of Nitric Acid Results

Nitric acid is produced in the US in large volumes and along with this is the need for effective pollution control measures as well as proper disposal practices of the by-products of nitric acid manufacture.

Oxides of nitrogen are the waste products of nitric acid production. These oxides escape into the atmosphere and go through complex reactions with water vapor to form sulfuric acid and the re-formation of nitric acid. Nitric acid plants produce nitrous oxide (NOx) is a greenhouse which is 310 times more harmful than carbon dioxide.

There are two kinds of nitrogen oxides: nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Nitric acid is a flammable and colorless gas with a slight odor. Nitrogen dioxide is a nonflammable and reddish brown gas also with a distinct smell. Nitrogen dioxide has strong oxidizing properties that when it reacts with air, it produces the highly corrosive nitric acid along with hazardous organic nitrates.

In a recent court case filed by the Environment Integrity Project (EIP) and Sierra Club against the Environment Protection Agency, it stated that the Agency had failed to evaluate and bring up to date its emissions standards for nitric acid manufacturing plants.

According to the EIP and the Sierra Club, nitric acid plants are one of the top contributors of nitrous oxide into the atmosphere, contributing to the greenhouse phenomenon tremendously. By using necessary cost effective technology for managing nitrous oxide emissions and reducing it by even a small percentage can be very important, more so because of the fact that nitrous oxide is such a potent greenhouse gas.

Aside from the greenhouse effect, it is also a main constituent in acid rain formation. Acid deposition can happen as a result of two processes: hydrochloric acid released directly into the atmosphere and as a product of secondary pollutants that form from the oxidation of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide which are given off into the atmosphere. These gases undergo reactions in the earth’s atmosphere which convert them into nitric acid and sulfuric acid.

This phenomenon can lead to the deposition of nitric acid in the world’s ocean basins or it could be through dry deposition which is then converted to acids once they are made to react with water. Acid rain also ruins structures, eroding buildings making them weak and more susceptible to damage. Acid rain had also been known to kill trees reacting with minerals in the soil and depriving them of these essential nutrients required for growth.

It is therefore of utmost importance that nitrous oxide emissions are addressed not only by government agencies but more particularly by nitric acid manufacturing plants since they are the source of this pollutants and are in a better position to deal with nitrous oxide straight from the source.

There are available abatement systems which can be integrated into the existing system of the plant. Types of abatement systems are adsorption, absorption and reduction (selective and nonselective) methods.

Proper disposal and on-site control measures of emission are the sole responsibilities of the nitric acid manufacturing plant. Emissions can be greatly reduced if manufacturing practices and systems are built around the concept of reducing nitrous oxide released into the atmosphere.

The world’s temperature has risen in unprecedented levels never seen before. Weather and climate conditions have become more unpredictable. The greenhouse effect has a huge impact on these changes and we have no else to blame but ourselves.

We have brought this into ourselves but it is never too late. We have to take responsibility for our actions and do what we can while we can. Nitric acid manufacturing plant owners and managers are in the position to do this by adapting and implementing environment-friendly manufacturing practices and systems.

By: joalesto

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Jo is a content writer for ‘ReAgent Chemical Services Ltd’ (, a reputable UK stationed chemical company that makes, carries and supplies a wide selection of premium chemicals. If your business is looking for superior quality chemical product for example”>Nitric Acid or has other industrial compound needs for purposes like chemical fusion, analytical purposes and cleaning then take a look at ReAgent Chemical Services Ltd.


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