• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Causes And Forms Of Acid Rain.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Causes And Forms Of Acid Rain The principal chemicals that produce acid rain are sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) including nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide. Natural as well as human activities are responsible for the production of these atmospheric pollutants. Natural processes include bacterial action in soils, volcanic eruptions and degassing from oceanic plankton. SO2 from volcanic eruptions can significantly affect the Earth's atmospheric chemistry and climate. The noxious effects of pollution caused by human activity, particularly the burning of coal, have been recognised for centuries, although the association with acid rain was not realised until the nineteenth century. Most atmospheric pollutants are linked to industrial processes, for example smoke from factories, SO2 and NOx from power stations, pollen from agricultural activities, dust from building construction and asbestos from insulating material. Of these the emissions from factories and power stations have been linked to acid rain. Approximately 120 Mt of S02 is emitted annually around the globe from these principal sources and other industries using oil and coal as fossil fuels. ...read more.

Middle

Moreover, as wet deposition occurs typically in excess of 1000 km away from the source of pollution, the effects are often felt across national frontiers. This necessitates multi-lateral agreements on the curbing of sulphur emissions. Figure 1 shows the findings of a study by the National Environment Protection Board (1987) into the contribution made by external and internal sources to sulphur deposition. It was revealed that Norway imported 92% of its sulphur fallout from external sources, compared to only 20% for the United Kingdom. Given the direction of prevailing winds from the southwest it can only be supposed that the bulk of Scandinavia's acid deposition is attributed to emissions within the UK and northwestern Europe. Such findings serve only to strengthen the case for international agreement to control emissions. The effects of acid rain are: 1. The Human Environment Acid rain has a multiplicity of effects in the human environment. The corrosion of limestone buildings in towns and cities is one such effect. Far more insidious are the increasing incidents of lung cancer, bronchitis, emphysema and asthma attributed to breathing in tiny particles of sulphur and other pollutants, particularly the PM10s from vehicle emissions. ...read more.

Conclusion

which otherwise would have remained to help buffer the percolating acids. Whereas acids and heavy metals may be released during afforestation, deforestation can lead to the pollution of watercourses. A study in the Hartz mountains in Germany during the 1980s revealed that forest decline in areas susceptible to acid rain led to the build up of nitrogen compounds in the soil and greater leaching into stream courses. It appears, however, that toxic conditions in watercourses are highly episodic. Periods of high pollutant concentration are associated with snowmelt events when accumulated wet and dry deposition can enter watercourses simultaneously. Significant fish kills have been reported following snowmelt in Norwegian rivers and increased mobilisation of aluminium following snowmelt in West Wales. Figure 2 was produced by the United Kingdom Acid Waters Review Group and shows the main acid-susceptible areas in the UK based on solid and superficial geological deposits. Studies since then have identified great variations even within these susceptible areas and have focused on three factors in addition to bedrock geology: soil type, land use and rainfall amount. Using these factors researchers are able to categorise areas according to their relative sensitivity to acid rain damage and to map these areas. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Physical Chemistry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Physical Chemistry essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Atmospheric Pollution

    3 star(s)

    The troposphere is a huge reacting vessel and most of the reactions that take place involve radicals. Radicals are highly reactive atoms that are unpaired. Some of the ozone from the stratosphere is transported to the troposphere; however all of the rest is made in the troposphere by the reaction:

  2. Peer reviewed

    ACID RAIN The majority of people consider rain to be an undamaging weather occurrence. ...

    3 star(s)

    The term 'oxides of nitrogen' describes any compound of nitrogen with any amount of oxygen atoms. The only oxides of nitrogen are nitrogen monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. These gases are produced by firing processes at very high temperatures (vehicle) and chemical industries.

  1. Investigating the Rate of the Reaction between Bromide and Bromate Ions in Acid Solution

    Applying this value to my value for the activation enthalpy, I can conclude that: I can do the same for the activation enthalpy with a catalyst. This required 0.2M potassium bromate solution, 0.0001M phenol solution, solution D and iron (III) sulphate solution. The total percentage error is equal to .

  2. Electrochemistry - Inventing Better Batteries

    Under these conditions the voltage should increase from 1.10 volts to 3.89 volts, in which will support our second hypothesis. Hypothesis 3 After extensive research into different forms of salt bridges, our group believes that in using the porous pot salt bridge the decrease in resistance provided by the pot

  1. Describe the construction, operation and application of distillation equipment used in industry

    They maintain good efficiency. b Lessing rings Lessing rings are used in applications of mass transfer and direct heat transfer. They are made in two parts, metal strips bent into ring shapes and then the ends connected with a projection and indentation.

  2. Investigating how concentration affects rate of reaction

    Alcohol-resistant foam, powder, water spray, carbon dioxide. Explosion Above 79�C explosive vapour/air mixtures may be formed. Above 79�C use a closed system, ventilation. In case of fire: keep drums etc. cool by spraying with water. Inhalation Sore throat. Burning sensation. Cough. Dizziness. Headache. Nausea. Vomiting. Shortness of breath.

  1. Outline and examine some uses of different metals through history, including contemporary uses, as ...

    Gay-Lussac?s law of combining of combining volumes states that when gasses combine at the same temperature and the same pressure, they do so in volumes that bare a simple ratio to each other (the ratio of the volumes of gasses involved in a chemical reaction can be expressed as simple whole numbers).

  2. Acids and Bases in the World - acid rain, chlorine in pools and cleaning ...

    of saphonification removes these oils and fats leaving behind a nice and clean oven 8. An example equation would be NaOH as the oven cleaner reacting with HCl to form sodium chloride salt and water 9. NaOH + HCl -> NaCl + H20 1.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work