Black carbon project

In the Black Carbon Experiment students both visualize and quantify the amount of “soot” or “smoke” in the air they breathe. Black carbon, the elemental carbon component of atmospheric aerosols, is produced in incomplete combustion. It is found in the exhaust of diesel engines and in the smoke produced in agricultural burning and in cooking fires fueled by wood, coal or animal waste. The brown cloud that often hangs over urban areas and greatly reduces visibility is caused by a combination of light scattering by small atmospheric particles and light absorption by black carbon.

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