What is acid rain and what kinds of destruction does it cause?

Asked by navindif | 28th Jul, 2008, 03:13: PM

Expert Answer:

Acid rain is rain or any other form of precipitation that is unusually acidic. It has harmful effects on the environment and on structures. Acid rain is mostly caused by emissions due to human activity of sulfur and nitrogen compounds which react in the atmosphere to produce acids

The more accurate term is "acid precipitation."  Liquids with a pH less than 7 are acidic, and those with a pH greater than 7 are basic. "Clean" or unpolluted rain is slightly acidic, its pH being about 5.6, because carbon dioxide and water in the air react together to form carbonic acid, a weak acid.

H2O (l) + CO2 (g) → H2CO3 (aq)

Carbonic acid then can ionize in water forming low concentrations of hydronium ions:

2H2O (l) + H2CO3 (aq) CO32- (aq) + 2H3O+(aq)

Answered by  | 29th Jul, 2008, 10:11: AM

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