Interim Report

Team Number: 032
School Name: Kirtland Central High School
Area of Science: Environmental Science
Project Title: Air Pollution
Project Abstract: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/abstracts/032.html
Interim Report: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/interims/032.html
Final Report: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/finalreports/032/finalreport.html

Our project for this year's Super Computing Challenge is centered toward the removal or thinning of air pollution through rain out. Smog and air pollution is rained out of the air by water vapor that collects on some of the chemicals and particles in the air and rains them out. This would not remove smog but theoretically it would help to thin the smog. If water vapor were to be produced then the smog would thin quicker. Right now the smog is produced faster than it is thinned by vapor so it only grows more abundant. Our project involves putting more vapor into the air to speed along the process of thinning the air pollution. The way we propose to do that is to set heating plants on the pacific ocean to boil water and create steam. For the purpose of this project we are dealing with one that would be placed off the coast of Southern California because smog there is more abundant than most other areas in the country and the wind currents coming off of the coast are ideal for this project. Eventually though, if the idea works, plants could be placed in numerous places along the oceans and gulfs and lower the entire coastal nations smog percentage. These plants would be placed according to wind currents so that the areas affected by the vapor would be the badly polluted ones. What we hope to find from the project is where the ideal placement of the plant would be, and whether it would be feasible in cost, energy use, comparative to the amounts of smog that would be removed.

At the Challenge Kickoff Conference, in October, our team was told what we need to research in order for our project to be successful. We were told that our project's research would need to include the following: Meterorology, possible use of limestone to decrease the amount of acid in the water, the amount of water vapor in LA, the volume of the smog in LA, condensation, the amount of heat needed, the amount of steam needed, the amount of fuel needed, the amount of electricity needed, certani aspects of chemistry, the rate of evaporation along the coast of Claifornia, desalination, and the possible productionof asid rain from the heating plants and combinig of the smog with extra water.

Since the Kickoff Conference or team has made contact with Bryan Travis whom referred us to Melvin Prueitt who we haven't yet contacted. These equations will pertain to chemistry, condensation, eaporation, and desalination. Allof which are invlved in our project. We hope to receive information from him. Meanwhile, one of our team members has made contact with the local power plant in an attempt to find information on the differing amounts of fuel, electricity, heat, and steam. Another member has a relative in California that has information on the meteorology portion of our project.

At the beginning, we thought that there might have been a problem with acid rain. While there is a certtainty that acid rain will be a factor, In The southern Califorinia area that this project is based on the soil is slightly alkaline. This leads us to be certain that acid rain will not have an effect in our particular project. If the soil were more base then this would be a side effect that could not be looked over. This is something to take into consideration when dealing with multiple heating plants.

If the project continues and our hypothesis is correct, then air pollution across America and the world could be severely reduced. Air pollution is an obvious problem. I think that people in New Mexico don't understand it as well as people in bigger states. While there is a strong amount of air pollution in New Mexico, it is not as visible as the white skies of Southern California. The pollution, atleast in Northern New Mexico, is mostly only noticed when you've just come out of Colorado and you begin to smell that dank smell of air pollution. Air pollution needs a cure. Ten years ago a study was taken in Los Angeles. Ten years ago it was found that living a low impact life in L.A. does as much damage as smoking two packs a day in clean air. Think of what a smoker living in L.A. is doing to their lungs. This test was ten years ago. TThink of how bad it is now. Something must be done about the air in America.a.

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New Mexico High School Supercomputing Challenge