Essay: Sources of air pollution

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  • Subject area(s): Environmental studies essays
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  • Published on: November 15, 2017
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Air pollution is contamination of the indoor or outdoor environment by any chemical, physical or biological agent that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere (WHO, n.d.).
 
There are many sources of air pollution but the main cause of air pollution in Cambodia is the increasing number of vehicles on the road and old generators, which utilise fuels to support industrial activities and services (Country Environmental Profile: Cambodia, 2012). Phnom Penh municipal officials stated there were 400,000 motor vehicles and more than one million motorcycles operating in Phnom Penh in 2015. The more the transportation, the more fuel burned and pollutants released. The burning of the petrol causes the emission of dirty gases directly into the atmosphere. The hundreds of tuk-tuks and buses continually operating around the Angkor Wat area significantly threaten the air quality there. In 2014, the Global Post reported that the air pollution in Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was a significant problem (Open Development Cambodia, 2016).

Industries and small production facilities also emit gases such as nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2) and ozone (O3) due to the combustion of fossil fuel (Phyrun, 2013). This leads to the increase of the level of air pollution. The key challenge that Cambodia’s energy sector faces is heavy dependence on fossil fuel. Most of the energy generated in Cambodia come from heavy fuel oil and diesel generators (Open Development Cambodia, 2015). Cambodia depends mainly on fossil fuel in the production of electricity. This gives rise to serious air pollution. According to the World Bank collection of development indicators, Cambodia consumed a total of 30.68 % of fossil fuel energy in 2014 (Trading Economics, n.d.). Fossil fuel consists of coal, oil, petroleum, and natural gas products. The consumption of hydro energy, wind energy and solar energy are as follow:

Hydro energy consumption (% in TFEC): 1.99 %

Wind energy consumption (% in TFEC): 0 %

Solar energy consumption (% in TFEC): 0.0115 %

(Source: Trading Economics. https://tradingeconomics.com/cambodia/fossil-fuel-energy-consumption-percent-of-total-wb-data.html )

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