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Acid rain - With this experiment we want to show how gases that are dissolved in water will turn the water into an acid.

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Acid Rain Investigations Date of experiment: March 20, 2003 Written by: Berit Nielsen 2.i Partners: Mary Rasmussen Dmitri Kern Introduction With this experiment we want to show how gases that are dissolved in water will turn the water into an acid. Materials and method For the experiment we used the following: Medicine dropper demineralised water 2 beakers with lid bromothymol blue graduated cylinder 2 test tubes matches lead nitrate, Pb(NO3)2 First we added a few drops of the indicator, bromothymol blue, to 10 mL of dem. water in a test tube until the water became slightly blue. Then we placed a match in a clean beaker and lighted it. ...read more.


Observations When we added bromothymol blue solution to the beakers, they turned yellowish. In the second experiment the fumes were brown. Explanation The chemical reactions taken place when lighting the match and heating the lead nitrate, were: S(s) + O2(g) ? SO2(g) 2Pb(NO3)2(s) + O2(g) ? 2PbO(g) + 4NO2(g) + 2O2(g) Since the colour changed from blue to yellow when we added bromothymol blue, we know that an acid is present in both experiments. What caused these changes to occur was the oxides of sulphur and nitrogen. The reason why we can see these changes is because we have added demineralised water and the indicator bromothymol blue. ...read more.


4HNO3(aq) Sulphur dioxide occurs naturally from volcanoes. It is produced industrially from the combustion of sulphur containing fossil fuels and the smelting of sulphur ores: S(s) + O2(g) ? SO2(g) In the presence of sunlight sulphur dioxide is oxidized to sulphur trioxide: SO2(g) + 1/2O2(g) ? SO3(g) The oxides can react with water in the air to sulphuric acid: SO2(g) + H2O(l) ? H2SO3(aq) and SO3(g) + H2O(l) ? H2SO4(aq) Conclusion and evaluation We have made a model of how gases can dissolve in water to make water more acidic. We have also found out how acid rain is formed. The experiment was successful. To improve the experiment knowing more exact amounts of each reactant would be preferable, e.g. the amount of sulphur in the match, in order to do some calculations and achieve some precise numbers which could be compared with official limits etc. 1 ...read more.

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