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Acid Rain

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Andrea Diaz

on 13 June 2011

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Transcript of Acid Rain

Minimizing Risk for a Community (A report on acid precipitation) Acid Precipitation formed when Pollutants + water react with By: Andrea Diaz such as sulfur dioxide + nitrogen gas Sulfur Dioxide Sulfur dioxide is a clear gas that has a strong, choking odour. Most of Canada’s production of sulfur dioxide comes from industry (such as burning coal to generate electricity and the mining and refining of metals), although on-road and non-road transportation also emit sulfur dioxide gas. During the process of smelting, which is used to separate a metal from the ore extracted from the ground, any sulfur that is present in the ore reacts with oxygen in the air to form sulfur dioxide gas. S(s) + O(g) -> SO(g) 2 2 2SO(g) + O(g) -> 2SO(g) SO(g) + HO(l) -> HSO(aq) This gas, when released into the atmosphere, reacts with even more oxygen to form sulfur trioxide, which in turn reacts with water particles in the air to form sulfuric acid. 2 2 3 3 2 2 4 Effects of Acid Precipitation on: Aquatic Ecosystems Terrestrial Ecosystems Aquatic life can tolerate only minor changes in the pH of the water in their environments. decrease in pH level water more acidic younger, most fragile organisms die lack of food for larger organisms larger organisms find themselves at a loss of food, so they must find other sources of food or move elsewhere to survive Acid precipitation can also cause aluminum ions to be washed from acidified soil into the streams and lakes, where they can damage the gills of fish and cause them to suffocate, altering again the natural order of the food chain. Soil: Acidic groundwater dissolves or washes away good metal ions bad metal ions (such as calcium, magnesium and potassium) essential for plant growth (such as aluminum) toxic to plants and aquatic life The of soil depends on substances in the soil that act as bases that can help neutralize the acid. buffering capacity (the ability to resist changes in acidity) high buffering capacity more neutralization less buffering minerals low buffering capacity neutralization of small doses of acid soil loses valuable nutrients (needed for proper growth of trees) weaker trees trees more vulnerable to diseases, strong wind and cold How to mitigate acid precipitation Switching to low-sulfur fossil fuels to generate electricity
The installation of scrubbers to remove sulfur from the emissions of smelting operations and fossil fuel-burning power plants
Improvements in the pollution control equipment on vehicles
Stricter laws governing vehicle emissions (Such as the Ontario Drive Clean Program) The pH of some lakes has now increased to more normal levels, and improvement has been shown in the wildlife observed in these lakes. For example, populations of loons have increased.
However, the food chains in these lakes remain fragile and ecosystems in Ontario have not yet fully recovered from the effects of acid precipitation in the twentieth century. It will take a long time for Ontario’s ecosystems to recover completely from the effects of acid precipitation. Economic Impact of Acid Precipitation Environment Canada estimates that poor growing conditions result in the loss of wood valued at billions of dollars
A reduction in fish stocks has already affected Ontario’s multibillion-dollar recreational fishing industry

Acid precipitation damages steel structures, limestone buildings and stone monuments Detergent Plant Option 1 Option 2 Build a small sulfuric acid production next to the detergent plant. The initial construction and setup costs will be significant. The raw material for manufacturing sulfuric acid is sulfur, which is a waste product from the smelting of nickel ore. A nearby nickel company can supply the sulfur at no cost. The company could recoup its initial investment in about five years. The sulfur would have to be transported from the nickel smelter by truck along the road through town. Once the factory is in full production, large quantities of sulfuric acid would be produced and stored on site. Increase the current train shipments of sulfuric acid to the factory from the supplier located 200 km away. The rail line runs near the river that is the town’s main source of drinking water. Sulfur at no cost
Company is able to recoup investment
No transportation of actual sulfuric acid required Very expensive construction and setup
Smelting of nickel company releases sulfur dioxide into the air, which eventually turns to acid precipitation Pros Cons Sulfuric acid already made More expensive to get more shipments
Long transportation of sulfuric acid
Danger of acid spills
If acid spill happened, contamination of town's main source of water Pros Cons BEST OPTION! Because... Even though it will be more expensive to start up a new factory, the company will be able to recoup the money in just five years.
It will reduce the risk of acid spills in the town, since the only transportation of the sulfuric acid will be from the factory to the plant,w hich will be right next to each other.
It is not as harmful to the environment to transport solid sulfur than sulfuric acid.
The sulfur is available at no cost.
Even though sulfur dioxide is produced from the smelting of the nickel, that is a factor that this company cannot control, since even if they went with option 2 the nickel factory would still be operating and producing sulfur dioxide.
Whatever harm can come to the environment from the production of sulfuric acid in a factory would be able to be controlled or diminished if the company had their own factory than if they bought it from someone else. Therefore Option 1 would be the most cost-friendly and environmentally friendly References:
Adam-Carr, Christine. Science Perspectives 10. Toronto: Nelson, 2010
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