Nitrate radicals’ are likely making air pollution worse in China, India

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Source: The post is based on the article “Nitrate radicals’ are likely making air pollution worse in China, India” published in Indian Express on 30th January 2023

What is the News?

According to a study, certain regions of China and India are nighttime hotspots for the generation of nitrate radicals that could increase the amount of harmful ozone and PM2.5 small particulate matter in the atmosphere.

What are Nitrate Radicals?

Nitrate radical is an oxide of nitrogen that consists of three oxygen atoms bound to a nitrogen atom.

These radicals could increase the amount of unhealthy ozone and PM2.5 fine particulate matter in the atmosphere.

What is the impact of Nitrate radicals?

Nitrate radicals will oxidise gas pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

These VOCs will then generate ozone and secondary organic aerosol, both deteriorating air quality.

Note: Ozone is an air pollutant that affects human health and crop yield. Secondary organic aerosol is an important component of PM2.5.

How to reduce Nitrate Radicals at night time?

Scientists believe that reducing the emissions of VOCs could reduce this night-time Nitrate Radicals in India and other regions.

Most human-made VOCs come from vehicle exhausts and industrial processes.

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