All About Acid Rain

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Submitted By bsimms02
Words 1224
Pages 5
Acid Rain Rain is one of the most essential ingredients for human and animal life. The water provided by rain allows all life on Earth to survive. Although rain is naturally acidic, it is being increasingly acidified by pollution from homes, factories, power stations and cars. The term used to describe this problem is “acid rain”. Acid rain hasn’t just occurred in the last twenty to thirty years. In fact a chemist named Robert Smith found rainfall in Manchester, U.K., to be very acidic. He suggested a link between acid rain and SO2 given off when coal was burnt by local factories. This was over 100 years ago. Acid rain is caused when pollutants from cars, homes, factories and power stations mix with atmospheric moisture. These pollutants may be carried in clouds for long distances before falling, which mean that forests and lakes far away from factories may be damaged by acid rain.
Two of the major ingredients of acid rain are the chemicals sulphur dioxide [SO2] and nitrogen oxides [NOx]. When large quantities of these two particular chemicals come in contact with the atmosphere, they team up with moisture [H2O] to produce strong acids called sulphuric and nitric acid. These two acids which are formed in the atmosphere are very strong pollutants. Some air pollution as a matter of fact comes from natural sources, but most is human made. The burning of oil and coal by plants and factories, homes and cars, is the main source of chemicals that cause acid rain. Power stations and factories emit large amounts of sulphur dioxide and also nitrogen oxides, whilst car exhausts contain large amounts of nitrogen oxides. When volcanoes erupt, they emit various gases which have been trapped under the ground, including sulphur dioxide. This can cause air pollution, which can then be made much worse by the addition of human-made emissions. The air in many towns…...

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