Acid rain Acid rain is a form of precipitation that is unusually acidic. It is mostly caused by human emissions and has effect on plants, aquatic animals, and infrastructure. Sulfur and Nitrogen compounds which react in the atmosphere to produce acid. Chemical Formula SO2(g)+H2O(l) - H2SO3(aq) 2H2O3(aq)+O2(g) - 2H2OSO4(aq) and NO2(g)+H2O(l) - HNO3(aq)+HNO2(aq)
Discovery of acid rain Acid rain is first identified in depth by a Scottish chemist, Robert Smith in 1852 He described how rain changed with respect to Geography, fuel combustion, and local condition In 1872, he coined the term “acid rain” in his book Air and Rain
The examination of acid rain accelerated around 1920, when Scandinavian started to notice detrimental impacts on lakes in their countries. As more data were collected, it became apparent that acid rain was a global phenomenon that required international attention.
Causes of acid rain About 70% of acid rain comes from sulfur dioxide (SO2) and the rest comes from various oxides of Nitrogen dioxide (NO2 &NO3) The two principal acids in acid rain are H2SO4 and HNO3. Their sources are SO2 and NO2 SO2 sources-volcanic eruptions -Decomposition of organic materials
NO2, and NO3 sources-Bacteria action on soil -Undergo Chemical reactions in the upper atmosphere The natural sources cause small pollutions. The main polluters are human beings. Pollution created from the burning of fossil fuels by cars, factories, and power stations.
Acid rain effects on plants If the PH scale of rain is less than 5, the plant will be affected. If the plant is less buffering, the more will be affected.
Acid rain effect on aquatic animals When the level of acid is lower than PH of 5.6 all rivers, oceans, and lakes animals and organisms become sick and die. Some are able to adapt and live in water way Some are more sensitive and can be killed from acidity change.
Effects on animals and birds Tree dwelling birds and animals also begin to suffer due to loss of home Animals may: – Breath in gases or smell in particles – Eat on food or drink water – Absorb gases through the skin
Acid rain effect on human When human feed on affected plants and animals as toxics inside Asthma with dry cough Headache, throat irritation Brain damage Kidney problem
Effects on buildings It has a corrosive effect on limestone or marble buildings Limestone CaCO3+H2SO4 CaSO4+H2CO3 Calcium sulfate is soluble in Water. And the limestone dissolves & scrambles.
What individuals can do? Turn off lights in empty rooms, turn down the heat at night, limit your air condition usage Install fluorescent light Try to reuse, recycle, reduce as you can For alternate fuels, use ethanol, propane, natural gas When you going to work or school, try to walk, ride bike, or take a bus Limit speed, or car-pool with someone.
What Energy companies can do? Use coal with a low sulfur contents Remove sulfur from smoke their plants release Limit processes known to generate high levels of acid rain Washing sulfur out of coal Find new methods of burning coal
What government can do? Construct environmental polices and restrictions Control and limit of emissions Encourage energy companies for another alternatives Increase accessibility of public transportation
References Myers, Richard. The Basics of Chemistry. Connecticut: Green wood press, 2003 Ebbing, Gammon; Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, Boston 2005 www.faculty.plattsburgh.edu Sabine Bachlechner & Verena Trojer; Environmental Economics, spring 2002 http://library.thinkquest.org/26026/Environm ental_Problems/acid_rain_-_solutions.html