Acid Rain

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by Hikari99
Last updated 6 years ago

Earth Sciences

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Acid Rain

-when fossil fuels are burned to produce electiricity in power plants-Exhaust from cars, trucks and buses

Natural Phenomenons

Human Activities

-Lightning activity (cause nitrogen and oxygen to react to form nitrogen oxide) N2 (g) + O2 (g)  2NO (g)-Volcanic eruption (produces sulfur dioxide)




Formation of nitric acid1. Nitrogen oxide from pollution or lightning is oxidised to nitrogen dioxide in the air-NO (g) + 1/2O2 (g) --> NO2 (g)2. Nitrogen dioxide will react with water in the atmosphere to form acid rain-3NO2 (g) + H2O --> 2HNO3 (aq) + NO (g)

Formation of sulfuric acid1. Sulfur dioxide from pollution or volcanic eruption is oxidised to sulfur trioxide in the air-2SO2 (g) + O2 (g) --> 2SO3 (g)2. sulfur trioxide will react with water in the atmosphere to form acid rain-SO3 (g) + H2O --> H2SO4 (aq)

This graph shows acid rain emissions in the US per mmBTU generated from 1995 to 2008.Green line shows increasing amounts of heat are being produced in increasing amounts of generating units covered by the Acid Rain Program.The blue and red line shows that emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides per mmBTU have decreased sharply over the years.Thus, the graph shows that despite more fuels being burnt,ther ehave been decreasing amounts of acid rain.This could be attributed to the use of sulfur control methods such as scrubbers, fluidized bed conductors and switching to low-sulfur coal.This would account for the decline in sulfur and nitrogen oxides emission despite more fuel burning.To conclude, the trend of the graph shows that more efforts are being made to reduce emission of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, and that the various control methods are effective in reducing emissions, which would in turn result in lesser acid rain.


Acid Rain



1) On water bodies

Are affected because acidic precipitation falls directly into them and lowers the water's pH, making it unsuitable for aquatic life

2) On forests

-Acid rain make trees lose their leaves, damage their bak and stunt theit growth, making them vulnerable to disease, extreme weather and insects.-Acid rain disrupts soil nutrients and kills micro-organisms in soil

3) On architecture

-May be corroded when acid rain land on buildings (especially those made with limestone) as it reacts with minerals in the stones and may cause it to disintegrate and be washed away.-CaCO3 (s) + H2SO4 (aq) --> Ca + SO4 + H2O + CO2

1) Reducing pollution-Use coal that contain less sulfur-Power plant can install equipment called scrubbers to remove sulfur dioxide from gases2) Other sources of energy-Use renewable sources of energy instead of nonrenewable fuels3) Cleaner Cars-Catalytic converter reduces the amount of nitrogen oxide released by cars-Some cars can also use cleaner fuels, such as natural gas4) Energy conservation-Turn off lights and electrical appliances when you are not using them

As The Statue of Liberty is made from copper, it will react with acid rain (2H+ + SO4) to form copper sulfide (CuS). It will then oxidise slowly to copper sulfate (CuSO4) which is green in colour. Hence, acid rain has changed The Statue of Liberty’s colour from its dull copperish colour to green.



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