Thursday, March 28, 2013

What is the relationship between Sulphuric Acid and Acid Rain?

 Acid rain takes place as a direct result of the natural cleaning process of the atmosphere. The tiny droplets of water which form clouds confine within them the suspended solid particles and gases in the atmosphere. Among these gases are sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides which are them chemically converted into sulfuric and nitric acids. Other than this some sulfuric acid may also be formed directly in the droplets of water from the reaction of sulfur dioxide and hydrogen peroxide.
Some of the effects caused by acid rain and the sulfuric acid present in it are:

• The acid may react with buildings and marble made structure by reacting with the Calcium carbonate and this reaction forms Calcium bicarbonate which is soluble and hence causes the structures, buildings etc to deteriorate.  

• Acid rain can filter aluminum from the soil and make it get mixed with ground water, lakes or rivers. This can poison fish and many plant roots. 

•Acid rain disrupts the process of photosynthesis, hence causing damage to plant life 

•If the acid rain is highly concentrated, it slows down the production of chlorophyll and at high concentration it may kill plants.

The relationship between Acid Rain and Corrosion?

Acid rain is the mixing of different harmful gases such as sulfur and nitrogen and when they mix with rain they form acid rain.The main causes of these harmful gases are cars,various factories and powerplants.Due to the harmful emissions acid rain is formed.As population increases so do all these harmful emissions.One of the main contributors that lead to acid rain are coal powerplants.As to why the corrosion,well when sulfuric acid and the calcium compounds in various buildings and monuments mix together they lead to the creation of gypsum which eventually flakes off leading to corrosion.Acid rain also has many diverse effects on the environment.
When  petroleum burns, it  produces oxides of nitrogen and  that rise up into the atmosphere.  There they get mixed by wind and undergo chemical reactions with sunlight and moisture. After some days,  the sulfuric acid and nitric acid particles fall as acid rain. So not only sulphuric acid is involved but nitric acid also plays an important role. Due to acidic features acid rain eats into the stone surfaces at once. These particles settle into crevices and molding, and
the damage they create comes later. When rain comes in contact with the deposits  corrosion is there.

What can the Acid Rain do to the soil and water?


Soil biology and chemistry can be seriously damaged by acid rain. Some microbes are unable to tolerate changes to low pHs and are killed.The enzymes of these microbes are denatured (changed in shape so they no longer function) by the acid. The hydronium ions of acid rain also mobilize toxins, e.g. aluminium, and leach away essential nutrients and minerals.
2H+ (aq)+ Mg2+ (clay) 2H+ (clay)+ Mg2+(aq)
Soil chemistry can be dramatically changed when base cations, such as calcium and magnesium, are leached by acid rain thereby affecting sensitive species, such as sugar maple (Acer saccharum).
Acid rain has many adverse effects on plant life. It may be direct or indirect. It stunts the growth of plants. The worst adverse effect is that acid rain seriously damages the soil biology.Only a few microbes consume acids. The enzymes of there microbes change shape by the acid. To retain the pH of the soil lime stone can be used.

Surface waters and aquatic animals

Both the lower pH and higher aluminum concentrations in surface water that occur as a result of acid rain can cause damage to fish and other aquatic animals. At pHs lower than 5 most fish eggs will not hatch and lower pHs can kill adult fish. As lakes and rivers become more acidic biodiversity is reduced. Acid rain has eliminated insect life and some fish species, including the brook trout in some lakes, streams, and creeks in geographically sensitive areas, such as the Adirondack Mountains of the United States.However, the extent to which acid rain contributes directly or indirectly via runoff from the catchment to lake and river acidity (i.e., depending on characteristics of the surrounding watershed) is variable. 

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