Engineering >> Chemical Engineering

An Application of Euler’s Method Evaluating Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)

by Melissa Butcher


Submitted : Fall 2010

Nitric oxide (NO) and Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are very important gases to consider when examining human pollution, impacts of pollution and the earth’s ozone layer.  Although these gases can enter the atmosphere from natural resources, such as lightning or microorganisms on nitrogen fertilizer1, we are more concerned with pollutant resources and their resulting problems.  Nitrogen-dioxide is more problematic to mammalian health than nitric-oxide.8


The following forward and reverse reaction were simulated using simple Euler’s method within a box model:

NO + O3 >>> NO2 + O2                 with rate constant k2                        k2 = 0.534 ppm/minute

NO2 + O2 >>> NO + O3                 with rate constant k1                        k1 = 26.5 ppm/minute


Running a box model of these reactions under four different scenarios of interest gave insight into problems of atmospheric nitrogen-dioxide pollution and its impacts to human health.  

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Advisors :
Fernando Burgos, Mathematics and Statistics
Scott Campbell, Chemical & Biomedical Engineering
Suggested By :
Scott Campbell