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Physical Science Notes 416-436
Acid Rain
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Little Willy was a chemist, Little Willy is no more, what he thought was H2O, was actually H2SO4

There are two sources of acid rain.

 

1)      Coal burning power plants i.e.: factories

2)      Cars (exhaust)

 

1) Coal burning = coal

            Coal is carbon

 

C          +           O2       --->      CO2           +            Heat Energy

Combustion burning            Green house Effect     H2O(l) --> H2O(g) Steam moves turbines

 

Coal contains impurities: mainly sulphur

S + O2 ---> SO2 (sulphur dioxide)

 

To create sulfuric acid that we get in our rain this chemical bond must occur:

SO2 + H2O ---> H2SO4

 

How does this happen? The diagram bellow might help you understand:

h2so4.jpg

2) Car exhaust

 

Gasoline: C8H18O2 ---> CO2 + H2O

                (octane)

 

Composition of Air:

78% N2 (Nitrogen)

21% O2 (Oxygen)

1% H2O, CO2, Ar

 

N2 + O2 ---> NOx nitrogen oxide

X is used because you can have innumerable compounds

E.g.:

NO2 = Nitrogen dioxide

N2O4 = dinitrogen tetroxide

 

How does gasoline affect acid rain?

 

NO2 + H2O ---> HNO3 (Nitric acid)

 

The picture bellow might help explain the effect of cars:

no3.jpg

Hydroelectricity

 

Does not cause acid rain. It does cause environmental problems but not acid rain.

hydroelectricity.jpg

Hydroelectricity

 

Pros

-renewable

-no air pollution

-cheap

 

Cons

-displaces animals + people

-flooding

-heavy metals from soil get into the water e.g.: Hg

 

Coal Burning

 

Pros

-Cheap

 

Cons

-ugly

-air pollution = greenhouse effect

-non-renewable

 

A bit more information about Coal burning

 

Coal Burning = Acid rain; SO2 + NO2

                        Green house effect; CO2 (+ CH4 methane)

 

Coal   )

Oil      )     + O2 CO2 + H2O

Gas    )

Diesel )

(Hydrocarbones)

coalgasoil.jpg

Effects on the planet:

 

You may think that when carbon dioxide (CO2) is released into the air that it just floats out of our atmosphere and into space. Unfortunately it does not do so. CO2 forms a blanket type of layer over our earth (picture: CO2 blankie).

Does that blanket matter? Well you may think not, but it does, and in a very negative way. That blanket allows light energy from the sun into our atmosphere to heat up the earth, which would be fine, but the blanket does not let it back out again. What does that mean? Thats means that our earth is slowly heating up. This is called the Greenhouse Effect. Whilst the effects of the Greenhouse Effect are only showing themselves now, it will be many years before the problem gets out of hand (should it not be dealt with). So even if you are dead and gone, and maybe your children wont have to deal with it but eventually someone will.

greenhouseeffect.jpg

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