Ethylene (CAS No.74-85-1) is a colorless gas with a sweet odour and taste. Ethylene is produced naturally through metabolic processes of plants and microbes. In addition, volcanic activity, forest fires, combustion of fossil fuels, and processing of natural gas release ethylene to the atmosphere. Alberta has a background level of ethylene in the range of 2 to 14 μg m-3. Anthropogenic sources such as Alberta’s petrochemical processing facilities that use or produce ethylene, reported releases of 1,238.32 tonnes of ethylene, according to the National Pollutant Release Inventory of 2000. Chemical removal of ethylene from the atmosphere occurs by oxidation of ethylene, which produces intermediate compounds (secondary pollutants including ozone) that eventually break down to carbon dioxide and water. The lifetime of atmospheric ethylene is estimated at 2.2 days. The detection limit for ambient air monitoring (VOC canister – 24 hour collection - in Alberta) is typically 0.02 μg m-3.
|Orig. pub. date:||2004-01-|
|Catalogue #:||Document Online|