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Acidic Environment Assignment

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Acidic Environment Assignment Oxides of non-metals which act as acids Non-metals burn in air or oxygen to produce acidic oxides. The addition of water to soluble oxides produces acidic solutions. Oxides of non-metals which act as acids include: * Carbon reacts with oxygen when burnt to form carbon dioxide which is acidic in nature. When dissolved in water, it becomes H2CO3 (carbonic acid). CO2 (g) + H2O (l) � H2CO3 (aq) * Sulfur burns in oxygen to give sulfur dioxide or sulfur trioxide which is acidic in nature. When dissolved in water, it forms sulfurous acid H2SO3 and sulfuric acid H2SO4 respectively. SO3 (g) + H2O (l) � H2CO4 (aq) Sulfur trioxide + water � sulfuric acid * Nitrogen is burnt in air to produce nitrogen dioxide (P2O5) which is an acidic oxide and when dissolved in water forms nitric acid (HNO3) and nitrous acid (HNO3). 2NO2 (g) + H2O (l) � HNO3 (aq) + HNO3 (aq) * Phosphorus is burnt in air to produce phosphorus pentaoxide (P2O5) or tetraphosphorus decaoxide (P4O10) which are acidic oxides and when dissolved in water form phosphoric acid (H3PO4). P2O5 (g) + 3H2O (l) � 2H3PO4 (aq) Phosphorus pentaoxide + water � phosphoric acid P4O10 (g) ...read more.


As a result of heavy industry, sulfur dioxide is produced in the refining of petroleum, the manufacture of sulfuric acid, the manufacture of coke from coal and when roasting sulfur ores as given by the below equation: Through the burning of petroleum, natural gas and coal: Acid Rain Acid rain is rain that has a higher than normal hydrogen ion content because of the amount of dissolved carbon dioxide it contains (which forms carbonic acid). The reaction of SO2, nitrogen oxides, NOx gases and their particulate matter derivatives with water in the atmosphere forms a mixture of sulfuric acid, nitric acid and nitrous acid. The dilute solutions of these acids result in rain water with a higher than normal pH, also known as acid rain. Acid rain is used to describe several ways that acids fall out of the atmosphere. This type of acid deposition has two parts: wet and dry. Wet deposition refers to acidic rain, fog, and snow. As this acidic water flows over and through the ground, it affects a variety of plants and animals. The strength of the effects depend on many factors, including how acidic the water is, the chemistry and buffering capacity of the soils involved, and the types of fish, trees, and other living things that rely on the water. ...read more.


is commonly produced in the: * Burning of biomass * Combustion of fuel in motor vehicles and power stations Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is produced in: * The combustion of fossil fuels * Metal smelters which extract lead, zinc and copper from sulfides * The incineration of garbage * Petroleum refineries * Industries using sulfur dioxide for the production of materials. The concerns leading to the use and production of these acidic oxides revolves around the global need to reduce sources of air pollution. Although the atmospheric concentrations of sulfur dioxide and the oxides of nitrogen are likely to continue to rise into the future, many governments and institutions worldwide have implemented strategies to resolve this dilemma. The release of Nitrogen oxides such as NO and NO2 prompts public concern due to its ecological detriments to Nature and public health. Nitrogen oxides may encourage heart and lung problems as well as the spread of cancer. Nitrogen dioxide may decrease our resistance to diseases and suppress plant growth. The concern revolving around sulfur dioxide emissions encompasses public health issues, making it a problem for people with asthma and respiratory diseases. Sulfur dioxide is also capable of dissolving in water to form sulfuric acid. This has detrimental effects on human drinking water as well as aquatic communities where it interferes with osmoregulation in freshwater fish and endangers aquatic flora and fauna species. ...read more.

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