Essay Acid Rain Speech

793 Words 4 Pages
Point 1: Why I choose acid rain:
I choose acid rain for my project because I wanted to understand better how the rain becomes to an acid and why it is such a big issue for nature.

Point 2: What causes acid rain:
Acid rain is caused by sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. The gases are mainly produced by burning fossil fuels like coal or natural gas. In the US, 2/3 of all SO¬2 and 1/4 of NOx are produced by fossil fuel combustion. The other amount is naturally produced by decaying plants, volcanos. Very small amounts of nitrogen oxides are also caused by lightning strikes. Once in the atmosphere, acid rain is separated into two categories: wet deposition and dry deposition. Wet deposition means that the gases dissolve in the condensed
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Nitrogen dioxide is only one of them but it is the main nitrogen oxide involved in acid rain. Nitrogen dioxide molecules have the same structure as sulfur dioxide molecules, except there is not a lone electron pair at the nitrogen. That is called a free radical, a single electron. The chemical label is also the same as the one of sulfur dioxide, except there is a “ox” in the white diamond which indicates that it has oxidizing properties, the property of letting materials such as potassium or sodium burn without air.
Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen_dioxide http://cameochemicals.noaa.gov/chemical/4072

Point 5: Balanced Chemical Equation:
There is more than one chemical reaction involved in the process of acid rain. All of the reactions present are synthesis reactions. This means that, in this case, two reactants react to form one new product. In the first equation, gaseous sulfur dioxide reacts with liquid water to form aqueous sulfurous acid. The second reaction includes two equations. In the first equation, sulfur dioxide gas reacts with oxygen gas to form gaseous sulfur trioxide. This reaction is catalyzed by dust and smoke particles. Then the sulfur trioxide reacts with water to form sulfuric acid, a much stronger acid than sulfurous acid. In the last equation, gaseous nitrogen dioxide reacts with liquid water to form a mixture of aqueous nitric acid and aqueous nitrous acid.
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