E2 Acid Deposition

What is acid deposition?
Acidic particles or gases that deposit or fall on Earth
What are the most common acidic gases?
Oxides of sulfur and oxides of nitrogen
What is the pH value of rain water?
5.6
Why is rain water acidic?
Dissolved carcon dioxide creates carbonic acid (HCO3)
What is the definition of acid rain?
Any rain with pH lower than 5.6
What does sulfur dioxide produce in the presence of water?
Sulfurous acid H2SO3
What factors lead to the oxidisation of sulfur dioxide?
O2, O3, OH and sunlight.
Give the formula for the oxidisation of sulfur dioxide into sulfur trioxide.
SO2 + 1/2 O2 = SO3
What happens to oxides of sulfur in the presence of water?
They can be converted to sulfuric acid
What happens to nitrogen dioxide in the abscence of oxygen?
With water, it forms nitrous acid (HNO2) and nitric acid (HNO3).
What factor can accelerate the formation of nitric acid?
Hydroxyl free radical (OH) from smog
What are common side effects of acid rain on humans?
Irritation of the respiratory tract and eyes
What component of acid rain may lead to Alzheimer’s?
Increased concentrations of aqueous Al (III)
What are two side effects of highly concentrated aqueous Al (III)?
Can affect gill function in fish, may cause Alzheimer’s
What material is most affected by acid rain?
Limestone, CaCO3
What is ‘stone leprosy’?
Conversion of insoluble carbonates are converted to more soluble ones which can dissolve in water and damage stone.
What are other effects of acid rain on materials?
Corrosion of iron and steel, deterioration of electrical equipment, bleaching and weakening of fabrics and leather, heavy toxic metals in water
What are the effects of acid rain on plants?
Bleaching and yellowing of leaves, suppression of growth and removal of important nutrients (e.g. magnesium)
What are effects on visibilty?
Sulfuric acid and sulfate aerosols in the atmosphere can cause loss of visibility and can curtail air flights
What are common methods for prevention?
Catalytic converters, control of air to fuel ratio, pre-combustion methods; alternative energy sources, adding lime to soil and lakes.
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