Pollution

Introduction

Pollution is the addition to the ecosystem of someting which has a detrimental effect on it. One of the most important causes of pollution is the high rate of energy usage by modern, growing populations.

Different kinds of pollution are found. In this section we will discuss:

  1. Water Pollution.
  2. Land Pollution

Air Pollution

Air pollution is the accumulation in the atmosphere of substances that, in sufficient concentrations, endanger human health or produce other measured effects on living matter and other materials. Among the major sources of pollution are power and heat generation, the burning of solid wastes, industrial processes, and, especially, transportation. The six major types of pollutants are carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, particulates, sulfur dioxide, and photochemical oxidants.

Examples of Air Pollution

  • Noise Pollution
  • Noise pollution or unwanted sounds that are carried by the air, have an irritating and detrimental effect on humans and other animals. Careful planning of streets and biuldings in towns and better control over noisy vechiles may add to the control of noise pollution.

  • Tobacco Smoke
  • Tobacco smoke is one of the major forms of pollution in buildings. It is not only the smoker who is infected, but everyone who inhales the polluted air. There is a very strong connection between smoking and lung cancer. Bronchitis is common among smokers and unborn babies of mothers who smoke also suffer from the harmful effects of smoking.

  • Exhaust Gases of Vehicles
  • Pollution from exhaust gases of vehicles is reponsible for 60% of all air pollution and in cities up to 80%. There is a large variety of harmful chemicals present in these gases, with lead being one of the most dangerous.

  • Combustion of Coal
  • The combustion of caol without special precautions can have serious consequences. If winds do not blow away the poisonous gases, they can have fatal effects and may lead to death.

  • Acid rain
  • Acid rain is the term for pollution caused when sulfur and nitrogen dioxides combine with atmospheric moisture to produce highly acidic rain, snow, hail, or fog. The acid eats into the stone, brick and metal articles and pollutes water sources. Coal in South Africa is rich in sulphur and the power stations in the Mpumalanga Province could be reponsible for acid rain over other areas of our country.

    Control Measures

    Although individual people can help to combat air pollution in their own immediate environment, efficient control can be best achieved by legislation. Some commonly enforced control measures include

    • the establishment of more smokeless zones;
    • control over the kinds of fuel used in cars, aeroplanes, power stations, etc.

    Water Pollution

    Water pollution is the introduction into fresh or ocean waters of chemical, physical, or biological material that degrades the quality of the water and affects the organisms living in it. This process ranges from simple addition of dissolved or suspended solids to discharge of the most insidious and persistent toxic pollutants (such as pesticides, heavy metals, and nondegradable, bioaccumulative, chemical compounds).

    Examples of Water Pollution

  • Industrial affluents
  • Water is discharged from after having been used in production processes. This waste water may contain acids, alkalis, salts, poisons, oils and in some cases harmful bacteria.

  • Mining and Agricultural Wastes
  • Mines, especially gold and coal mines, are responsible for large quatities of acid water. Agricultural pesticides, fertilisers and herbicides may wash into rivers and stagnant water bodies.

  • Sewage Disposal and Domestic Wastes
  • Sewage as wel as domestic and farm wastes were often allowed to pollute rivers and dams.

    Control Measures

    The following measures can be used to stop water pollution:

    • every intelligent people should be wise enough not to pollute water in any way;
    • by research and legislation the pollution of water bodies, even though not entirely prevented, must be effectively controlled.

    Land Pollution

    Land pollution is the degradation of the Earth’s land surface through misuse of the soil by poor agricultural practices, mineral exploitation, industrial waste dumping, and indiscriminate disposal of urban wastes. It includes visible waste and litter as well as pollution of the soil itself.

    Examples of Land Pollution

    Soil Pollution
    Soil pollution is mainly due to chemicals in herbicides (weed killers) and pesticides (poisons which kill insects and other invertebrate pests). Litter is waste material dumped in public places such as streets, parks, picnic areas, at bus stops and near shops.

    Waste Disposal
    The accumulation of waste threatens the health of people in residential areas. Waste decays, encourages household pests and turns urban areas into unsightly, dirty and unhealthy places to live in.

    Control Measures

    The following measures can be used to control land pollution:

    • anti-litter campaigns can educate people against littering;
    • organic waste can be dumped in places far from residential areas;
    • inorganic materials such as metals, glass and plastic, but also paper, can be reclaimed and recycled.

    Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment

    This is a little information that I wish to share. It is a general knowledge and this is one part of water treatment that I learn in Chemical Engineering.

    What is Reverse Osmosis?

    Reverse osmosis (R/O) is a water treatment process in which water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane that has very small holes or “pores”. Clean water passes through and impurities that are too big to pass through the membrane are left behind and flushed away.

    Do I Need a Reverse Osmosis Unit?

    It is presumed in this document that the water you are using meets all health regulations and is known to be safe. If your municipality or utility supplies your drinking water, it is likely that you do not need a reverse osmosis unit. Municipally supplied drinking water is microbiologically safe. It is treated to meet health and aesthetic requirements, and is subject to routine testing for microbiological contamination.

    If you obtain drinking water from a private supply such as well, it may not be safe from microbiological, chemical, or other types of contamination. Drinking water from private sources should be tested periodically to determine if treatment is required; and, if so, for what specific contaminants or minerals.

    Water chemistry is complex and no single water treatment device can be used to remove all types of substances from water. Different drinking water treatment devices have their own advantages and disadvantages. Each household must individually determine if there is a need for additional water treatment. If this is the case, determine the unit or combination of units best suited for your water needs.

    How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?

    Reverse osmosis systems purify water by forcing pressurized water through a very fine, plastic membrane. If the raw water being treated comes from a well or another private source, disinfection and pre-filters (to remove chlorine and/or particulates/sediment) may be needed in advance of the R/O unit to remove contaminants that can foul or damage the membrane.

    Stages of reverse osmosis:

    1. During the initial filtration stage, tap water or well water (pressurized by a booster pump) is passed through a particle filter (a pre-filter) that removes silt, sediment, sand, and clay particles that might clog the R/O membrane.
    2. The water is then forced through an activated carbon filter that traps minerals and contaminants such as chromium, mercury, copper, chloramine and pesticides. It also removes chlorine, which is important, as chlorine will shorten the life of the membrane.
    3. Water is transferred under pressure into the R/O module, allowing only clean water to pass through the small pores in the membrane. Impurities unable to pass through the membrane are left behind and flushed down the drain.
    4. Treated water is then sent to a storage tank.
    5. Treated water is passed through an activated carbon filter before use to further improve the water’s taste and smell.

    Water that contains manganese, hydrogen sulphide or iron should be pre-treated to extend the life of the membrane. A dealer can recommend the pre-treatment needed.

    Note: Reverse Osmosis units produce no noise other than the sound of water discharging into the drain (usually a sink or a floor drain).

    What Are the Benefits of Reverse Osmosis?

    Reverse osmosis can remove dissolved solids, salts, minerals that cause hardness, organic chemicals and other impurities. It can improve the taste of water for people who do not like the taste of dissolved mineral solids.

    Treated water will not produce scale in kettles and coffee makers. Because sodium and potassium are removed, people on a medically prescribed sodium- or potassium-restricted diet may benefit. R/O units may also remove contaminants such as chromium, mercury and nitrates. Before purchasing a R/O unit, check the certification and literature for the particular model to verify exactly what it can and cannot remove.

    Is Reverse Osmosis – Treated Water Safe to Drink?

    Reverse osmosis treatment systems remove minerals like calcium and magnesium from drinking water. If you consume a reasonably balanced diet, you do not need to take a mineral supplement when drinking water treated with a reverse osmosis system. Low levels of minerals in drinking water may be a concern for people living in countries with very hot climates.

    Is the Water Source Safe?

    A R/O unit should be used only with drinking water that is known to be safe to drink. Although reverse osmosis can remove microbiological contaminants, R/O does not disinfect the water to drinking standards. A flaw or tear to the membrane could allow untreated water to flow through the unit without removing disease-causing organisms. Remember if you are unsure of the quality of your water, get it tested. If you have any doubts about the safety of your water, then it should be disinfected before using a R/O unit.

    Desa Kim Loong Palm Oil Sdn Bhd

    Desa Kim Loong Palm Oil Sdn Bhd is a part of Kim Loong Resources. Their Main business is Oil Extraction from Palm Oil Fruit. Right now their plant capacity is  60MT/hr and they have the best oil extraction amongst the palm oil factory in Malaysia in which their Oil extraction scale is 21% to 25%.

    Their location is 30Km from Keningau City and it is 3Km from Sook Town. Like the other Oil extraction factory, they also have their own quarters for the workers to stay. Also back in July 2009, they had purchase their Satellite Internet Connection which let them connected to the internet. For me if you are working here, you will be able to get lots of advantages. For example, your house is free and you could get a house if you have a family. Also with that, you get a free electricity, free water supply and also You could easily access to the town.

    Other than that, staying here is what make it’s fun. I develop my fishing hobby here. It was so interesting that could make myself addicted to it. People in this place is nice and you could easily interact with them. Whenever you need their helps,  they will help you if they know your problem.

    One of the best thing in this factory is having a great Manager. I was working under Mr.Jason last time and it was very nice to have him as a manager. His vice Manager Mr.Joseph is very helpful too. Lots of stuff is explained clearly and also if we need helps in doing the assignment, they will usually give us a hint. Not to forget Mr.Gan, he is a nice person but he is always busy with his work as he have to handle both factory in Sook and also in Telupid. And that was a hard task. For your information this factory located more than 150KM from each other. So you could imagine how much of hardworks you need to put in order to make it the best.

    Working in here, really helps me to develop my knowledge. Lots of the thing that I learn and I could use it in the future. Thanks to them and thanks to Desa Kim Loong for all their helps in making my internship a success.

    New Experience

    It’s been around 3 weeks now that I’m having my internship at Desa Kim Loong Sdn Bhd. For the last 3 weeks, lots of stuff to be done and lots of new experience that I could see everyday.

    For me to have my internship here, it was pretty tough as my fellow internship colleagues is with mechanical engineering background. Plus my Internship Supervisor (Mill Engineer)  is also from Mechanical background. Involving with them, I found out that lots of thing that I need and will learn along this 10 weeks of internship.

    For example, on the first week, I learn with the thing that they called sprocket. At first I was wondering what is that and which part is that in the machine. But then after asking them, it is actually the gear part of the machine. When I follow my fellow colleagues to meet the workshop  supervisor, lots of new things that i discover. With them around, I could actually asked them what is that and how to use it.

    In this 3 weeks, I’ve done almost all the routine need to be done in the laboratory. It was quite fun and I’m planning to do some other test that i’ve learn before. I guess some of the apparatus and chemical is not there, so I gotta ask help from the Lab Supervisor to help me with that soon.

    One thing that I realize, if you are in the mill, you won’t be learning much if you did not go to see what happen inside and what people are doing. The work might be a routine things but then when they are about to troubleshooting on some problem it would be the best experience to follow and if possible get your hand out of your pocket.

    I am so grateful by the time I was there, they are starting their second boiler. Lots of trouble shooting stuff that I could see such as the adjustment of the Boiler controller by the engineer from outside and the problems in the engine room especially the problem with the turbine controller. Lots of this thing I will not found it if I was not in there and was sitting in supervisor room drawing some machine cross sectional view.

    Hope for the coming 7 more weeks, I would be able to do much more stuff and would be able to leave some mark of development in the mill.

    New Lifestyle with Internship

    It has been about one and a half week now that I’m having internship in Desa Kim Loong Sdn Bhd Keningau Sabah. But then I still trying my best to adapt to the changes. When I said about changes, there is a few which will be the major and most noticeable change.

    One of the change was I turn out to be sleeping early. Before this when it is schooling time, I will usually sleep around 3am. But this time I have to sleep early and the latest i could sleep is around 1am. this is due to the location of the working place which is 30 to 40 minutes from the place I stay, Keningau. So every morning I have to wake up at 6am, get ready and around 6.30am I gotta go out and get my other 2 colleagues to go to the Palm Oil Mill. So my sleep will only be around 5 hours. Which is quite sufficient for me but then if possible, I’d like to have another extra 3 hours sleep.

    Moving out around 6.30am and taking my colleagues, we will arrive at the mill around 7.20 to 7.30am. Then I’d have to get the punch card and have it marked by the machine. From that on, I’ll be likely be in the mill from 8am to 5pm. But then I always make it around 5.30pm as there is other stuff which I could do at the time.

    We’ll have our lunch break around 12noon until 1pm and we did take our lunch. Talking about lunch, this is another thing that gives my life to change a bit. For your information, I bring my lunch from home and I’ve never been doing that for the past 5 or 6 years. I remember I only do that in secondary 1 until secondary 3. And again, I start bring my lunch box everyday and it would be very good as this will save my daily cost.

    Being a chemical engineering students and mixing up with mechanical engineering students gives a really weird outcome. As i realize, what I learn is way too different compared to what they’ve learn in university and so this had Invite me to learn lots of new things from them day by day. It’s a bit burdening as i don’t have the basic but then I assume it as an extra bonuses for me. Just gaining some extra knowledge, could give me more experience to become an engineer in the future.

    Plus, I’d need extra energy to work here compare to studying in University. I also still can use some of my books but then the communicating with the workers around there will gives more realistic experience. So I’d need to be around from one process to one process to learn the mechanism and all about the process.

    This is some of the changes that I am trying to adapt now. It will be hard at first but then in the future things will gone normal for me.

    While doing this internship, I realize that my communication skills is very important in getting people to feel ease to help me out. The skills of using 4W1H is very important and so I will have to practice this more and more. This will help me in the future on asking the operator (workers) around and get the conversation more lively and they could get me the point that I needed.

    In the early of this article I mention that I have to travel around 30 to 40 minutes to go to work. The reason for this is I am staying outside for the purpose of doing my websites and getting updates on the oncoming events NACES 2009. It is not that Desa Kim Loong Sdn Bhd Keningau Sabah did not prepare any hostel. They did have a house for workers and I did know few place I could go but the only thing is there is no internet inside the housing compound. This will make my life even harder as I could say I will feel unease if there is no internet connection around. So if I was talking about the new lifestyle that I have to adapt to, this will be amongst the thing that had never change.