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This publication provides basic information about ground-level and high-altitude ozone. Plain English Guide to the Clean Air Act A brief introduction to the version of the Clean Air Act, to help you understand what is in the law and how it may affect you. Grades: Type of Resource: Booklet. Grades: Type of Resource: Virtual activity. Teaching Kids to Conserve Energy at Home: Resources for K teachers and parents This minute presentation focuses on an introduction to energy and the environment, energy saving tips, how to use the Energy Star home energy yardstick, and homework ideas.
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Skip to main content. Meaning of Acid Rain 2. Formation of Acid Rain 3. Causes of Acid Rain 4. Effects of Acid Rain 5. Impact of Acid Rain on Environment 6. Prevention of Acid Rain 7. Methods to Control Acid Rain. Project Report 1. Due to presence of these acids the pH of the rain water lowered to a value of 2. A value of pH below 5. Air pollution ultimately leads to acid rain as the harmful gases, which are mixed in the air, also get combined with the moisture in the air and form acidic clouds, which lead to acid rain.
The main causes of acid rain are factories, vehicles, power stations and industries; which burn fuels and produce harmful gases, which have sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxides.
Acid rain primarily means the deposition of acidic elements in the forms of precipitation, which can be snow, rain, dew or fog. Normally rain is acidic though weak as the pH. There are two types of acid deposition, one is wet and the other is dry. Wet deposition is the one, which involves acid rain or snow or dew whereas dry deposition is when the particles such as polluting gases, dust particles and gaseous elements are just absorbed by the surface of the Earth or the plant bodies.
They are not converted into acids until and unless they are in contact with water. In case of wet deposition the acids are removed from the atmospheric air and are deposited on the surface of the earth. Project Report 2. Formation of Acid Rain : In its purest state, rain water is like distilled water. It does not have carbon dioxide dissolved in it. It is neutral, with a pH level of 7.
As rain water falls through the atmosphere, particles suspended in the air are dissolved in it. These substances are generally dust, pollen grains and carbon dioxide CO 2 , sulphur dioxide SO 2 and nitrogen dioxide NO 2. Emissions of volcanoes and lightning tend to decrease the pH level of acid rain, making it even more acidic. CO 2 combines with water to form carbonic acid H 2 CO 3 ,.
Carbonic acid is a weak acid. It brings down the pH of the rain water 6. With pH levels ranging between 6. This is a reversible reaction. The problem occurs when rain water combines with gaseous oxides of sulfur, nitrogen and phosphoric and hydrochloric acid mists. The latter two and sulfur are released into the atmosphere from automobile exhausts, industries and electric power plants. Nitrogen forms a major part of atmospheric composition. These chemicals bring down the acid rain pH level to 5.
Sometimes, the pH level can even become as low as 2. This phenomenon of acidic rain water precipitation is called acid rain. Sulphuric acid and nitric acid are the main acids present in acid rain. Sulfuric acid is formed as follows:. Sulfur released into the atmosphere combines with atmospheric oxygen to form sulfur dioxide SO 2.
Formation of nitric acid starts with high temperature combustion processes. Most of the nitric oxide forms by burning of organic compounds of nitrogen. Nitric oxide is also released as a result of microbial nitrification in the soil. These nitric oxide reacts in a different way in day and evening time. In day time, oxidation of nitric acid occurs by O 2 , O 3 and ROO and from nitric acid as final product. In evening time the mechanism is different from day time.
The first step is oxidation of nitrite radical to nitrate radical but the final result is in formation to nitric acid. Project Report 3. Causes of Acid Rain : Acid rain is a form of pollution that can cause of lot of damage to natural ecosystems, to man-made objects, as well can harm to human health.
Human activity is the main cause of acid rain. Burning of fossil fuels is the primary source of these gases. However, natural phenomena like eruption of volcanoes, lightning, forest fires, rotting vegetables and action of bacteria on the soil also release these gases. Rapid industrialization is the main cause of increase in the incidence of acid rain and precipitation with low pH value is common in industrialized nations.
However, an amusing acid rain fact is, that it need not occur at the same place from where the gases that form acid rain, are released. Sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen are very light and they can be carried far, away from the industries that actually spewed them.
Hence, acid rain can also be experienced in places that are not heavily industrialized. Acid rain, more accurately acid precipitation, is the term used for describing rainfall with a pH level lower than 5. This type of pollution is a matter of great debate currently due to the potential of its causing environmental damages all across the world. For the last decade acid rain has caused destruction to hundreds of lakes and streams in many parts of the world, including the US, Canada, and Europe.
The oxides of nitrogen, Nox and sulfur dioxide, SO 2 are the two main sources of acid rain. This gas is produced due to various industrial processes, like the processing of crude oil, utility factories, and iron and steel factories. On the whole, industrial combustion is responsible for Nitrogen oxide is the other chemical that acid rain is made up of. Any nitrogen compound that contains oxygen atoms of any amount is known as oxides of nitrogen. For example, nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen monoxide are oxides of nitrogen.
These gases are produced in firing processes which involve extremely high temperatures, e. Five percent of nitrogen oxide is emitted by natural processes like lighting, volcanic eruptions, forests fires, and action of bacteria in the soil.
Project Report 4. Effects of Acid Rain: The effects of acid rain are as follows:. The acid rain affects the crops as well as the vegetation. The effect of acid rain on plants is grave. It not only damages the root, but also stops its growth and brings an end to the life of a plant. The nutritive value of the soil is reduced to a great extent as an effect of acid rain. Acid rain effects can be seen on the useful micro-organisms which convert the decayed organic matter into essential nutrients for the soil.
The consequence is that the micro-organisms are killed resulting in reducing the availability of nutrients for the soil and plants. Also, the waxy layer of the leaves is damaged which make the plant more and more susceptible to diseases.
On the whole, acid rain effects on plants make it difficult to survive in the extreme climatic conditions like storm, drought and heavy rainfall. It even affects the productivity and the process germination in the plants. The acidity of the rain has also led to soil erosion by dissolving the forests and other vegetation.
It takes away the essential nutrients of the soil and releases aluminum, which disables trees from sucking water from the soil. The direct impact of the acid rain can be seen in the production of carrot, radish, broccoli and beet roots. The yield has reduced to a great extent because of the acid rain which damages the protective layer of the leaves and interrupts in the evaporation process which does not allow the plant to breathe and survive. This stops the process of conversion of nutrients into energy for the plants and thus, the yield is affected.
Soil contains many harmful minerals such as mercury and aluminium. Upon contact with acid rain, these chemicals undergo chemical reactions with the acids. As a result, compounds of aluminium, lead and mercury are formed. Plants and trees can easily absorb these compounds. Such elements, which are extremely harmful to living forms, ultimately affect the entire food chain. These chemicals not only harm to flora, but also the animals that feed on them.
Apart from plants, acid rain also affects aquatic organisms adversely. A high amount of sulfuric acid interferes with the ability of fish to take in nutrients, salt, and oxygen. As far as freshwater fish is concerned, in order for them to stay alive they need to have the ability of maintaining a balance between the minerals and salts in their tissues.
The molecules of acid result in mucus forming in their gills, which prevents them from absorbing oxygen in adequate amounts. Plus, the acidity, which reduces the pH level, causes the imbalance of salt in the tissues of fish. This impairs reproduction the ability of the fish, because the eggs become too weak or brittle. Lack of calcium also causes deformed bones and weakened spines. Acid rain has the ability to leach harmful heavy metals like aluminium and mercury from the soil.
They get drained to the water body where aquatic life in hampered. Acid rain effects on streams and lakes are concerned with the health of water species. Not only a large number of species are killed due to deposition of harmful chemicals inside their body but it also affects the health of human beings on consumption of different varieties of fish.
These toxic chemicals also damage hatchings and their reproduction process. Decrease in number of species as a result of sudden deposition of acid is known as acid shock. Most of all, acid rain affects human health adversely. It has the ability of harming us via the atmosphere as well as the soil where the food we eat is grown.
Acid rain results in toxic metals breaking from the chemical compounds that occur naturally. Though toxic metals may be dangerous, but as long as they exist in combination with other elements, they are not harmful. Once acid rain causes these toxic metals to be released they can infiltrate into the drinking water, and the animals or crops that humans use as sources of food. This contaminated food can damage the nerves in children, or result in severe brain damage or even death.
Another adverse health effect of acid rain on humans is the respiratory problems it causes. The emissions of nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide cause respiratory problems like throat, nose and eye irration; headache; asthma; and dry coughs. Acid rain is particularly harmful for those who have difficulty in breathing or suffer from asthma.