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Environmental Issues. Chapter 19. Acid Rain. The major causes of acid rain is the emission of oxides of sulfur and nitrogen as a result of human activities. Oxides of sulfur include SO 2 (g) and SO 3 (g), which dissolve in rain water to form H 2 SO 3 (aq) and H 2 SO 4 (aq)

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Acid Rain

  • The major causes of acid rain is the emission of oxides of sulfur and nitrogen as a result of human activities.

  • Oxides of sulfur include SO2(g) and SO3 (g), which dissolve in rain water to form H2SO3(aq) and H2SO4(aq)

  • Major human activites that lead to the formation of oxides are the burning of sulfur-containing fossil fuels and the extraction of metals from their sulfide ores.


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Acid Rain

  • Oxides of nitrogen include NO(g) and NO2 (g). These dissolve in water to form HNO2 (aq) and HNO3(aq)

  • Major human activities that lead to the formation of these oxides are the running of internal combusion engines and power plants.

  • Acid rain corrodes some building materials and can affect both plant and animal life.


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Depletion of the Ozone Layer

  • CFCs, a group of inert compounds in the lower atmosphere have been used as refrigerants and propellants.

  • UV radiation in the stratosphere causes the C-Cl bond in CFCs to break and release Cl atoms.

  • The Cl atoms undergo a series of reactions with ozone that lead to its destruction. The Cl atoms are regenerated to destroy more ozone.

  • CFCs have been phased out in many countries, but because of their inertness their effect will still be felt for several decades.


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Photochemical Smog

  • Waste products from the internal combustion engine contain unburnt hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen.

  • In the presence of sunlight, especially under atmospheric conditions of temperature inversion, they undergo a complex series of reactions with oxygen to form photochemical smog.

  • Components of photochemical smog include ozone, PAN and aldehydes which are irritants to humans and damage plants.


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Enhanced Greenhouse Effect

  • Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, water vapour, CFCs and nitrogen(I) oxides.

  • The concentration of these gases has increased significantly due to industrialisation and changes in agriculture.

  • It is thought that this increase in greenhouse gas concentration is resulting in global warming and overall changes in culture.


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Your Outcome

  • Conduct research into ONE of the following environmental issues.

    • Effects of acid rain

    • Depletion of the ozone layer

    • Photochemical Smog

    • The greenhouse effect


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Your Outcome

  • You will present your findings as either:

    • A written report

    • A poster

    • A PowerPoint presentation

    • Web page presentation


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Your Outcome

  • Your report should include:

    • What is the issue

    • How was the issue created

    • The effects of the issue

    • What is being done to minimize the problem

    • Current stage of development

    • Potential problems (Cost, technology etc)

    • Bibliography


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The Bibliography

  • Any diagram must be referenced in the caption, also stating why the picture is included.


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