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Acid Rain

sulfuric acid
by

Lauren Schallhorn

on 26 April 2010

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Transcript of Acid Rain

Acid Rain H2O+SO3--->H2SO4 reactants product (sulfuric acid) How many of each element? two hydrogen atoms one sulfur atom four oxygen atoms Is there a catalyst? What is a catalyst? A catalyst is a substance that initates or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected. Yes there is a catalyst; water droplets and dust particles in clouds. They catalyse the reaction between O2 and SO2 in the air producing SO3 (sulfuric trioxide) which dissolves in water creating a strong acid, sulfuric acid. In other words... Water and sulfur trioxide are chemically combining with a catalyst of water droplets and dust particles so that the sulfuric acid dissolves in the water giving a product of a strong acid, sulfuric acid. Is the equation balanced? How do you know? Yes because there are two atoms of hydrogen in both the reactant and product. There are four atoms of oxygen in both reactant (one in water and the other three in sulfur trioxide) and product. Lastly, there is one atoms of sulfur on both sides. Why does it need to be balanced? Law of Conservation of Matter states that matter cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred. The elements and atoms can't just disappear or show up out of nowhere they have to transfer throughout the chemical equation. What kind of impact? I think the biggest thing that impacted me was the fact that acid rain is preventable. Our factories produce this harmful and powerful gas that converts into an acid. It kills many essential things in our ecosystem, a big one being the fish population. I think acid rain is just too damaging that something should be done to prevent it. How does acid rain affect ecosystems? Acid rain causes acidification of lakes and streams, contributes to the damage of trees at high elevations,and damages many sensitive forest soils. Also, it accelerates the decay of building materials and paints of irreplaceable buildings, statues, and sculptures. In lakes and streams, acid rain kills individual fish, reduces population numbers, completely erases a specific species, and decreases biodiverstiy. Sum it up I learned that when the gas of SO2 reacts with water, it produces sulforous acid, H2SO3. When the catalyst of water droplets and dust particles from clouds get involved, H2O and SO3 react to create a harmful acid dissolved in water, H2SO4. It affects lots of parts of out ecosystem in negative ways and precatution should be taken. pH Levels in water As pH in a lake or stream decreases, aluminum levels increase, and these are both are toxic to fish. Also, both cause chronic stress that may not kill individual fish, but leads to lower body weight and smaller size and makes fish less able to find food. At a pH of 5, most fish eggs cannot hatch. The lower the pH, the more acidic the lake/stream is. Where does sulfur dioxide come from? SO2 is formed when fuel containing sulfur is burned and when gasoline is extracted from oil, or when metals are extracted from ore. The main source is from coal-burning plants. Their emissons from the burning of coal and oil react with water and oxygen in the air.
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