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Normal Rain (pH 5.6) - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Normal Rain (pH 5.6). CO 2 (g) + H 2 O (l)  H 2 CO 3 (aq). carbonic acid (a weak acid). Acid Rain (pH < 5.6). NO 2 (g) + H 2 O (l)  HNO 3 (aq). nitric acid (a strong acid). Transportation 60%. 2 SO 2 (g) + O 2 (g)  2 SO 3 (g). SO 3 (g) + H 2 O (l)  H 2 SO 4 (aq).

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Normal Rain (pH 5.6)

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Normal Rain (pH 5.6)

CO2 (g) + H2O (l) H2CO3(aq)

carbonic acid

(a weak acid)

Acid Rain (pH < 5.6)

NO2(g) + H2O (l) HNO3(aq)

nitric acid

(a strong acid)



2 SO2(g) + O2(g) 2 SO3(g)

SO3(g) + H2O (l) H2SO4(aq)

sulfuric acid

(a strong acid)

Electric Utilities


Industrial Sources


Effects of Acid Rain

1.Damage to Structures Made of Limestone, CaCO3

2. Damage to Plants

Acid rain damages the

surfaces of leafs. This

leaves the plant unable

to make food & more

susceptible to pests &


Acid rain also causesleaching(removal) of minerals from the soil.

Aluminum can block

the uptake of the few

remaining minerals in

the soil.

Acid rain can kill


in soil.

3.Damage to Fish Populations

Fish (especially their eggs &

fry) are very sensitive to changes

in pH. Acid rain can cause

pH shockas the snow & ice

melts in the spring.

Acid rain can cause the aluminum in soil to enter ponds & lakes. Fish respond to the aluminum by producing excess mucous on the surface of their gills. The result is death by suffocation.

4.Harm to Human Beings

We depend upon the forestry, fishing,

& agricultural sectorsnot only for

food, paper, & building materials,

but also for jobs & recreation.

Nitrogen & sulfur oxides

can react with the moisture

in our lungs to produce acids.

As a result of acid rain,

toxic minerals (e.g.- Hg)

can be leached out of soil

and into our drinking water.

Why Are Certain Areas More Sensitive to Acid Rain Than Others?

bedrock consists of granite,

which is NOT a base

bedrock consists of a base - limestone or CaCO3

(i.e.- a vast inland sea was once located in this area)

The Great Lakes

Lakes in the Canadian Shield

The prevailing winds carry acid rain emissions from

their sources in southern Ontario & the American industrial

heartland to these areas.

How Can Acid Rain Be Prevented or Remedied?

Catalytic convertersdecompose nitrogen

& sulfur oxides.


These devices spray a solution containing limestone powder into the smokestack. This causes the sulfur dioxide to become neutralized.

“Soft” (Bituminous) Coal

This is coal that has

a low sulfur content.


The process of adding a lime or calcium hydroxide (a base)

to acidified lakes.

Use Energy Sources that Don’t Produce Nitrogen or Sulfur Oxides


Canadian PM Brian Mulrooney & U.S. President George Bush

signed the Acid Rain Accord in 1991, committing both of their

countries to reduce acid rain emissions.

Lifestyle Decisions

drive less

conserve electricity

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