|Quoting Blackbird (Reply 2):|
Would it be correct to say that afterburners have little effect on Ozone Layer?
Yes. Especially because since afterburners don't work very well at very high altitude. When entering the stratosphere, then most afterburners will have flamed out due to oxygen starvation.
Exactly NOx emission is mostly a problem with modern, high efficiency tubine engines at ground level. The very high compression ratio combined with the thick air at sea level (and take-off power) makes it very tricky to avoid or reduce combination of the oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere. The same high efficiency engines at cruise at the low ambient pressure at altitude produce a lot less NOx.
Water vapor is a much greater threat to the ozon layer. Every gallon of fuel burned produces approximately 1.2 gallons of water. That helps create tiny ice crystals (stratopheric clouds) which help to speed up the ozone destruction. But that's only a problem when emitted in the stratosphere. In the troposphere it will always just fall as rain or snow.
The tropopause between the troposphere and stratosphere is mostly placed around FL500 - FL550. Unfortunately it is somewhat lower - FL350 to FL400 - at or near the poles.
NOx is mostly a health problem in towns near busy airports in calm weather. But then the diesel engines running in the town are generally much worse.
NOx polution is a "local" and "temporary" polution. NOx molecules are unstable and pretty fast they split into N2
and O2 again. NOx is therefore a problem only when we have a constant, local production which cannot be blown away from inhabited areas.
Odinary healthy people will hardly ever notice even very severe NOx polution. But people, who suffer from certain breathing illnesses, will suffer more when the NOx level is high. It is not a "poison gas" such as CO
. But it slightly affects the way oxygen is taken up in the blood in the lungs.