- Pure water is neutral with a pH of 7.
- Pure rain has a pH of 5.6, due to the carbon dioxide naturally
present within the atmosphere. This CO2 interacts with water to form
carbonic acid in water.
- Automobile battery acid has a pH of 1.
- Vinegar has a pH of 3.
- Acid rain has pH of 1.5 to 5.6.
- On average Sydney rain has a pH of 4.3.
- Sulfur dioxide and Nitrous oxide are sources of acid rain.
- Sulfur dioxide is dominantly from power plants which burn coal.
- Nitrous oxides from cars, trucks and power plants (called NOx).
- Taller emission stacks have spread problems. To reduce local
pollution companines installed taller chimneys or stacks. This
results in polluting a larger region down wind..
- Main source of acid rain is sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides
in the atmosphere.
Power plants are a major source for sulfur dioxide and as well
Automobiles, trucks and buses are major contributors of nitrogen
oxides in urban and suburban environments.
- If the bedrock consists of limestone, effect is not so severe. The
limestone helps to neutralize the acid.
- If bedrock is granitic, there is no buffer. Results severe.
- Acid solutions free nutrients as well as toxic metals from the
soil. As a result, nutrients are lost from the soils and the plants
may take on toxic elements.
- In lakes, acidity keeps the nutrients in solution. Nutrient are
then lost with the outflow of water. Algae cannot grow as a result,
and so there is no food for aquatic animals present in the lake.
- Fish may be poisoned by heavy metals in solution, and are very
intolerant of high acidity.
- High acidity kills trees.
Acidic rain damages buildings and monuments.
ring studies have shown that concentrations of
calcium (which is an essential nutrient for trees) have been
decreasing steadily in areas of increased acid rain.
adapted to HTML from lecture notes of Prof. Stephen A. Nelson Tulane
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