Vernier Software & Technology

Acid Rain

Introduction

Acid rain is a topic of much concern in today’s world. As carbon dioxide gas, CO2, dissolves in water droplets of unpolluted air, the following reaction happens

${\text{C}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}}}{\text{ + }}{{\text{H}}_{\text{2}}}{\text{O}} \to {{\text{H}}_{\text{2}}}{\text{C}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{3}}}$

H2CO3 is a weak acid that causes the rain from unpolluted air to be slightly acidic.

Oxides of sulfur dissolve in water droplets to cause more serious problems. Sulfur trioxide dissolves to produce sulfuric acid, H2SO4, by the equation

${\text{S}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{3}}}{\text{ + }}{{\text{H}}_{\text{2}}}{\text{O}} \to {{\text{H}}_{\text{2}}}{\text{S}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{4}}}$

The acidity of a solution can be expressed using the pH scale, which ranges from 0 to 14. Solutions with pH above 7 are basic, solutions with pH below 7 are acidic, and a neutral solution has a pH of 7. In Part I of this experiment, you will study the effect of dissolving CO2 in distilled water, which is similar to rain water, on the pH of the water. Then in Part II, you will study the effects of dissolving sulfuric acid on the pH of different water types.

Objectives

In this experiment, you will

• Measure pH.
• Study the effect of dissolved CO2 on the pH of distilled water.
• Study the effect on pH of dissolving H2SO4 in various waters.
• Learn why some bodies of water are more vulnerable to acid rain than others.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 2

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Physical Science with Vernier

See other experiments from the lab book.

 1 Temperature Probe Response Time 2 Boiling Temperature of Water 3 Freezing and Melting of Water 4 Evaporation of Alcohols 5 Endothermic and Exothermic Reactions 6 Neutralization Reactions 7 Mixing Warm and Cold Water 8 Heat of Fusion 9 Energy Content of Fuels 10 Energy Content of Foods 11 Absorption of Radiant Energy 12 An Insulated Cola Bottle 13 A Good Sock 14 Insolation Angle 15 Solar Homes and Heat Sinks 16 Conducting Solutions 17 Conductivity of Saltwater: The Effect of Concentration 18 Acid Strengths 19 Frictional Forces 20 First-Class Levers 21 Pulleys 22 An Inclined Plane 23 Reflectivity of Light 24 Polarizing Light 25 How Bright is the Light? 26 Electromagnets: Winding Things Up 27 Magnetic Field Explorations 28 Household Acids and Bases 29 Acid Rain 30 Gas Pressure and Volume 31 Gas Temperature and Pressure 32 Fun with Pressure 33 Lemon "Juice" 34 Simple Circuits 35 Graphing Your Motion 36 Speeding Up 37 It's Race Day 38 Crash Lesson 39 Newton's Second Law 40 Falling Objects

Experiment 29 from Physical Science with Vernier Lab Book

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.