Acid rain
Updated: 6/1/2020
Acid rain

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  • OxygenWater Sulfur dioxide Nitrogen dioxide
  • How is coal formed?Coal is formed when dead plant matter decays into peat and is converted into coal by the heat and pressure of deep burial over millions of years.
  • How is sulfur dioxide formed?Sulfur dioxide is produced from the burning of fossil fuels (coal and oil) and the smelting of mineral ores (aluminium, copper, zinc, lead, and iron) that contain sulfur. It is produced on big scales in factories.
  • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) How is nitrogen dioxide produced?Nitrogen dioxide is produced when a nitrogen-containing fuel is combusted or when nitrogen in the air reacts with oxygen at very high temperatures, such as in certain types of industrial furnaces.
  • How do these gases dissolve in rainwater? These gases dissolve in rainwater when compounds like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are released into the air. These substances can rise very high into the atmosphere, where they mix and react with water, oxygen, and other chemicals to form acid rain.
  • What effects do acid rain have on the environment?Aid rain can be harmful to fish and other wildlife. As it flows through the soil, acidic rain water can leach aluminum from soil clay particles and then flow into streams and lakes.
  • What effect does acid rain have on buildings?The acidic particles corrode metal and cause paint and stone to deteriorate more quickly. They also dirty the surfaces of buildings and other structures such as monuments.