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Joanna Cuya

on 17 September 2014

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As the sulphur oxide molecules become more oxidised, there is a higher chance of the compound reacting with rain water, to form sulphuric acid and sulphurous acids. These reactions can be shown by the following chemical equations:
The release of sulphur from the burning of fossil fuels, reacting with the oxygen in the atmosphere to produce sulphur dioxide:

The release of sulphur from the burning of fossil fuels, reacting with the oxygen in the atmosphere to produce sulphur dioxide:

The further oxidation processes which occur due to prolonged exposure to sunlight and oxygen gas:

Acid rain is natural rainfall that is slightly acidic because the water dissolves carbon dioxide from the air to produce carbonic acid.

It occurs when acidic oxides of sulfur and nitrogen dissolve in rain water to form acids.
What is acid rain?
(1) Prevent waste.
The prevention of waste in chemical processes is ideally preferred as opposed to dealing with the irrelevant matter after it is produced.

(2) Design safer chemicals and products.
The use of safer and less hazardous chemicals is more ideal; and also the efficient use of elements that have minimal toxicity.
1 – 2
(7) Maximize atom economy.
It is important to design chemical processes that use a high percentage of their reactants to result in a minimal production of waste.

(8) Use safer solvents and reaction conditions.
It is best to avoid using hazardous substances for chemical processing, because the reaction could consequently produce hazardous waste.
7 – 8
The 12 principles of Green Chemistry were designed to reduce and/or eliminate chemical products and processes that involved the use of hazardous substances. They assist not only green chemists in their research, but also people all around the world; allowing each other to live in a more environment-friendly world.
Why have the 12 principles?
Frances A, Mariah C, Joanna C
(3) Design less hazardous chemical syntheses.
Strategies and ways in which substances are made should involve minimal toxicity.

(4) Use renewable raw materials.
Using renewable sources (natural sources) is more effective and beneficial for the environment as opposed to using sources that will run out.
3 – 4
(5) Use catalysts and not stoichiometric reagents.
Catalysts are more efficient to use because they are not genuinely part of the chemical reaction, plus they can be used through single reactions multiple times. However if stoichiometric reagents are used for the same purpose, they can produce unnecessary waste since it becomes part of the chemical process and it can only react once.

(6) Avoid chemical derivatives.
Deriving chemicals from other materials uses additional chemical reagents, which results in a larger product of unnecessary waste particularly if they are from non-renewable sources. It is preferable to use raw materials as stated in the fourth principle of green chemistry.
5 – 6
(9) Increase energy efficiency.
Chemical reactions should be run in room temperature and pressure to minimise energy

(10) Design for degradation.
Chemical reactions should be performed in room temperature and pressure to minimise energy
9 – 10
(11) Real time analysis for pollution prevention.
Ongoing monitoring and control process should be implemented to eliminate the formation of by- products.

(12) Minimise the potential for accidents.
Chemicals should be designed in their forms of solid, liquid or gas, in order to minimise potential accidents. This can include explosions, fires and releases to the environment.
11 – 12
(Principle 1)
There are many ways in which people can do to prevent wastes in the home such as using reusable bags for grocery shopping instead of plastic and using glass bottles instead of plastic; or use easy break down plastics. Small changes like these can improve the home environment and also the global environment. Using less paper can also be another way to prevent waste in the home; instead, use recycled paper, which is convenient because companies such as Living Tree Paper, Reflex and International Paper produce recycled paper more than regular paper.

(Principle 2/3)
Using less toxicity can be beneficial for the home in many ways; it can prevent sickness and avoid any future complications with the people. Installing insulation and ventilation in the home can definitely assist in minimizing the amount of toxic waste. Insulation keeps the inside of the house cold in the summer and warm in the winter. Avoid buying energy-consuming fridges/dishwashers that release harmful toxins to humans; instead buy energy-efficient appliances to minimize the toxic wastes.
Principles applied in the home
Known as NOx. Formed naturally from volcanoes, lightning flashes and bacterial action in the soil. Produced by human activity leading to many environmental problems. Formed when nitrogen and oxygen are mixed at extremely high temperatures. The main source of NO is through the high temperatures that are generated in internal contagions and jet engines. Also produced in power plants and the burning of fuels in higher industry.

At high temperatures:

When released into the Atmosphere at lower temperatures, NO reacts readily with oxygen to form brown poisonous gas nitrogen:

NO is an acidic oxidised that readily in rain water to form a mixture of nitrous acid and nitric acid

Nitrogen oxides
Sulphur oxides
Detrimental impact on the environment
• Building materials made of marble or limestone react kept acid rain, causing them to slowly wear
• Increases the rate of corrosion of steel structures
• Increases soil acidity
• Stunts plant growth
• Low pH causes minerals such as magnesium to leach from the soil. With magnesium plants can
not photosynthesise
• Slight decrease in pH prevents some fish from breeding
• Destruction of vast forest areas and the decimation of fish populations
• Causes aluminium to be released into the soil which makes it difficult for trees to intake water
• Trees that are located in the mountain regions at higher elevations are at greater risk as they are
exposed to acidic fog and clouds, which strip important nutrients from their leaves and needles
• Reduces the alkalinity and increases acidity in water
(Hazards of acid rain)
• Can effect both dry and wet climates
• Effects the soil, harder to vegetate

(Effects on human health)
• Irritation of mucous membranes in humans
• Linked with respiratory illness such as bronchitis and asthma, particularly in the old and very
Hazards of acid rain and effects on human health
Thus, the use of 'lower sulphur-fuels' will reduce the impacts on the environment if less sulphur oxides are produced from industrial processes such as coal burning, in order to retain the purity of rain water. Another similar method which has been implemented to reduce the production of acid rain is to remove sulphur from coal before burning/combustion. These are both measures to prevent the same reactions shown above to occur, corresponding with the green chemistry principles, prevention, maximising atom economy and to design less hazardous chemical syntheses.
Environmental impacts of acid rain
Improving the design of combustion engines to reduce the emissions of nitrous oxides
This method corresponds with the green chemistry principles; design for degradation, prevent waste, and minimise the potential for accidents.
The results of nitrous oxides are similar to those of the chemical processes involved with sulphur to produce acid rain, however the main source of nitrous oxides come from high temperatures generated in combustion engines and jet engines.

Thus, improving the design of combustion engines to prevent nitrous oxide emissions will restrict those chemicals from being produced and consequently reacting with rain water to create acid rain.
Principles applied in the home
(Principle 4)
Using renewable raw materials does not only save the use of irrelevant materials but also allows a more natural process to occur. In 2010, it was found that some household owners started getting headaches and nosebleeds; it was proven that the cause was an adhesive called formaldehyde, used for furniture and other household products. The alternative used was another adhesive called PureBond, containing a raw material in which was soya proteins. The soya proteins could also replace fossil-fuel-derived paint resins and solvents.

(Principle 10)
Degradation of plastics have been implemented in many household items over the passed years. Instead of using regular plastics, in which can be harmful to the environment, scientists have found a way to use biodegradable plastics which has a more beneficial and are more environment-friendly.
Unities States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 3rd September 2013, The Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry, viewed 16th September 2014, <http://www.epa.gov/sciencematters/june2011/ principles.htm>

About Education, Chemistry, 2014, Chemistry in Everyday Life, viewed 16th September 2014, <http://chemistry.about.com/od/everydaychemistry/>

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 24th April 2014, Environmental Effects of Acid Rain, viewed 16th September 2014,<http://www.epa.gov/region1/eco/acidrain/ enveffects.html>

Nicole Lukins, Carolyn Elvins, Philippa Lohmeyer, Bob Ross, Robert Sanders, Gordon Wilson 2010, Chemistry 1 Enhanced, 20 Thackray Rd, Port Melbourne, Victoria 3207

American Chemical Society (ACS) 2014, What is Green Chemistry?, viewed 16th September 2014, <http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/greenchemistry/what-is-green-chemistry.html>
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