Acid Rain and its effects on the Taj Mahal
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Definition of Acid Rain 1. Precipitation that has a pH of less than that of natural rainwater (which is about 5.6 due to dissolved carbon dioxide). 2. It is formed when sulphur dioxides and nitrogen oxides, as gases or fine particles in the atmosphere, combine with water vapor and precipitate as sulphuric acid or nitric acid in rain, snow, or fog. Causes of Acid Rain 1. Emissions from volcanoes and from biological processes that occur on the land, in wetlands, and in the oceans contribute acid-producing gases to the atmosphere 2. Effects of acidic deposits have been detected in glacial ice thousands of years old in remote parts of the globe 3. The principal cause of acid rain is from human sources 4. Industrial factories, power-generating plants and vehicles 5. Sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen are released during the fuel burning process (i.e.
Affects human health 4. Respiratory problems, asthma, dry coughs, headaches and throat irritations 5. Leeching of toxins from the soil by acid rain can be absorbed by plants and animals. When consumed, these toxins affect humans severely. 6. Brain damage, kidney problems, and Alzheimer's disease has been linked to people eating "toxic" animals/plants Preventive Measures 1. Reduce amount of sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen released into the atmosphere 2. Use less energy (hence less fuel burnt) 3. Use cleaner fuels 4. Remove oxides of sulphur and oxides of nitrogen before releasing 5. Flue gas desulphurization 6. Catalytic Converters 7. Use cleaner fuels 8. Coal that contains less sulphur 9. "Washing" the coal to reduce sulphur content 10. Natural Gas 11. Flue Gas De-sulphurization (FGD) 12. Removes sulphur dioxide from flue gas (waste gases) 13. Consists of a wet scrubber and a reaction tower equipped with a fan that extracts hot smoky stack gases from a power plant into the tower 14.
The Taj Mahal (also "the Taj") is considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles. Thus this beautiful monument soon paved its way into the 7 wonders of the world. When sulphur pollutants fall on to buildings made from limestone and sandstone they react with minerals in the stone to form a powdery substance that can be washed away by rain. Famous buildings like the Statue of Liberty in New York, the Taj Mahal in India and St. Paul's Cathedral in London have all been damaged by this sort of air pollution. Acid rain can also damage stained glass windows in churches, railway lines and steel bridges. The acid rain slowly eats away them all. Building materials crumble away, metals are corroded, the colour of paint is spoiled, leather is weakened and crusts form on the surface of glass. If people start reducing emissions we could save all these buildings.
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