Sulphur dioxide (SO2) is a colorless gas that is mainly produced by the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and gas. When these fuels are burned, the sulphur they contain reacts with oxygen in the air to form SO2. This gas is also generated by volcanic activity and some industrial processes, including the production of paper and the smelting of metal ores.
SO2 has a pungent, suffocating odor and is highly reactive. It can cause respiratory problems and aggravate existing conditions such as asthma. The gas is also a major contributor to acid rain, which can damage buildings, crops, and ecosystems.
To mitigate the harmful effects of SO2, many countries have implemented regulations to reduce its emissions from industrial sources. This includes using cleaner burning fuels, improving combustion efficiency, and installing pollution control equipment such as scrubbers and filters. Additionally, alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydropower can help reduce the amount of fossil fuels burned and thus lower SO2 emissions.