We’re being asked to convert 20 million (20x106) short tons into grams.
To do so, we need the following conversion factor:
1 short ton = 2,000 lb
1 kg = 2.2 lb
1 kg = 1000 g
The source of oxygen that drives the internal combustion engine in an automobile is air. Air is a mixture of gases, which are principally N2 (~79%) and O2 (~20%). In the cylinder of an automobile engine, nitrogen can react with oxygen to produce nitric oxide gas, NO. As NO is emitted from the tailpipe of the car, it can react with more oxygen to produce nitrogen dioxide gas.
Both nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide are pollutants that can lead to acid rain and global warming; collectively, they are called "NOx" gases. In 2004, the United States emitted an estimated 20 million short tons of nitrogen dioxide into the atmosphere. How many grams of nitrogen dioxide is this? Note that one short ton equals 2,000 lb.
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