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To investigate the effects of acid rain on statues

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To investigate the effects of acid rain on statues Introduction During this investigation, I will use dilute hydrochloric acid as the acid rain and crushed calcium carbonate as the chemical of the statues. Then I will time how long it takes for the limestone powder to react until there is no more left when the acid is added to it. Rain contains acid naturally as it collects carbon dioxide from the air and makes carbonic acid. Rain normally has a pH of about 5.5 - it is slightly acidic due to the carbon dioxide dissolved in it. It is a stronger acid if gases like sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides escape into the air from the burning fossil fuels, because they are dissolved by the rain and produce sulphuric and nitric acids that does more damage in a faster time. Acid rain reacts with statues and buildings that contain calcium carbonate and form carbon dioxide and water. The dilute hydrochloric acid in this investigation will have the same effect on the limestone as the acid rain on the statues. Yet, the only difference is that in nature, the acid rain reacted with the statue as a whole body, which takes approximately hundred years to corrode the object, whereas the hydrochloric acid in this investigation will take only few seconds to react with the limestone powder. ...read more.


The higher the concentration of the acid, I predict, the quicker the speed at which the limestone powder is reacted. I think the time of the reaction would increase quite regularly as the amount of water increases in the solution. This is because: In a dilute solution there are more water particles which get between the acid and powder and so the average distance increase as acid has to travel further to reach the powder. The water particles will slow down the acid particles. When the acid collides with the powder, it reacts if it has enough energy. If it does not have enough energy it will bounce off and not react. In a more concentrated solution, there are more of acid particles. They can attack the powder more quickly and more of them can react at the same time, as the water is not in the way as much. There will be more of them with enough energy to react when they collide. More collisions mean a faster reaction. This also explains why the greatest rate of reaction is usually as soon as the reactants are mixed, i.e. they are both at their highest concentrations. As the reaction proceeds the concentrations of the reacting substances decrease and the rate of reactions decreases. But how will other factors influence my experiment if I am going to do more tests on rates of reaction? ...read more.


There were no results that were odd or left out of my calculation and the apparatus and process I used were fine. Looking at the overall experiment, I have thought of a number of improvements to give me more and better accurate results. For this experiment, the reliable results will only be obtained if I use the equipment with precision and I could improve my results further if I had time to repeat the experiment I could have done each test more times e.g. 5 times for each concentration, but this would have taken too long. I could also have used a gas syringe to measure the amount of gas produced, so to give better results for rates of reaction. I could extend this experiment by investigating the rate of reaction with a different factor as opposed to average time taken. For example, I could investigate the effect of surface area and temperature on rate of reaction - I could use a lump of limestone and then the same weight of powder to see if this changed the rate. I could also heat the acid to see if the reaction went faster when there was an increase in temperature. Finally, to make better investigation with better quality results in the future, I would watch the experiment more carefully and making sure that correct volumes of water would be added. Xi Chen Chemistry Coursework - 1 - ...read more.

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