Acid Rain and The Reaction for Iron

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1138 |

Pages: 3|

6 min read

Published: Jan 15, 2019

Words: 1138|Pages: 3|6 min read

Published: Jan 15, 2019


Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Formation and Types of Acid Rain
  3. Sources of Acid Rain
  4. Impact on the Environment
  5. The Impact on Tin
  6. Conclusion


Acid rain, a term denoting precipitation with acidic properties, primarily characterized by the presence of nitric and sulfuric acids, is a pervasive environmental concern that demands comprehensive analysis. This essay seeks to delve deeply into the various dimensions of acid rain, encompassing its formation, sources, types, and extensive ramifications on the environment, human health, and building materials. Furthermore, this research aims to investigate the specific implications of acid rain on the corrosion of tin, an essential metal employed in diverse applications.

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Formation and Types of Acid Rain

Acid rain's acidity is quantified using the pH scale, where values less than 7 indicate increased acidity. Normal rain typically exhibits a pH value of 5.6, whereas acid rain is characterized by a pH below 5.6. This increased acidity is a result of carbon dioxide dissolving into rainwater, forming a weak carbonic acid. In the context of our experiment, acids with a pH of 2 are employed to simulate the long-term exposure of building materials to acid rain, which commonly exhibits a pH below 5.6.

The broader term, acid deposition, encompasses all forms of acidic components returning to the ground and comprises both wet and dry deposition. Wet deposition transpires when acidic components amalgamate with various forms of precipitation, such as rain, snow, sleet, and fog. Conversely, dry deposition involves the deposition of acid particles without moisture, predominantly through dust and smoke, which subsequently dissolve in water to create acidic solutions.

Sources of Acid Rain

Acid rain can originate from both natural and anthropogenic sources. Natural sources encompass nitrogen oxides generated during thunderstorms and sulfur dioxide emissions stemming from volcanic eruptions and the decomposition of vegetation. Nonetheless, a substantial proportion of acid rain can be attributed to human activities. The combustion of fossil fuels, notably coal and oil in power plants, contributes significantly to sulfur dioxide emissions. Nitrogen monoxide, a precursor of nitric acid, is released by combustion engines during fuel combustion, further exacerbating acid rain formation.

Impact on the Environment

Acid rain engenders profound and far-reaching consequences on the environment. In regions characterized by elevated elevation, trees are often shrouded in acidic clouds and mists, leading to the deterioration of their leaves, leaching of vital minerals from the soil, and heightened susceptibility to diseases. Plants, too, bear the brunt of acid rain's impact, experiencing slower growth, injury, or even mortality when exposed to its corrosive effects. In aquatic ecosystems, acid rain can inflict significant damage on aquatic life by leaching aluminum ions into rivers, which subsequently impede fish gills, resulting in elevated mortality rates and reproductive failures. A pH level below 5 is regarded as lethal for many aquatic species.

Furthermore, acid deposition adversely affects building materials and metallic structures. Materials rich in calcium carbonate, such as marble and limestone, react with sulfuric acid, forming calcium sulfate and thereby instigating structural erosion. Metals, including iron, corrode when subjected to acid deposition, leading to the gradual deterioration of structures such as buildings, bridges, and vehicles.

The Impact on Tin

This investigation discerns the repercussions of acid rain on tin, a versatile metal employed in diverse applications, including construction, storage containers, and soldering. Tin is renowned for its resistance to corrosion at room temperature, reacting slowly only with dilute acids such as hydrochloric and sulfuric acids. Nonetheless, comprehending how tin responds to various acids is imperative for its continued utilization across various industries.

Acid rain's impact on tin is complex, as it depends on multiple factors, including the specific acid involved, environmental conditions, and the duration of exposure. When exposed to nitric and sulfuric acids commonly found in acid rain, tin can undergo corrosion, albeit at a slower rate compared to other metals. This corrosion occurs through a series of chemical reactions, ultimately leading to the formation of tin salts.


Acid rain, typified by its acidic properties primarily caused by nitric and sulfuric acids, presents a substantial threat to the environment, human health, and building materials. It arises from both natural sources, such as volcanic eruptions, and human activities, primarily the combustion of fossil fuels and combustion engine emissions. Its detrimental effects encompass damage to vegetation, aquatic ecosystems, and structural materials. In particular, this research investigates the impact of acid rain on tin, an essential metal in numerous applications.

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Understanding the intricate interactions between different acids and tin is crucial for mitigating the adverse effects of acid rain on this valuable material. Efforts to reduce emissions and limit the environmental impact of acid rain remain paramount in safeguarding our ecosystems and infrastructure. As society continues to grapple with the consequences of acid rain, comprehensive research and proactive measures are essential to address this complex environmental issue effectively.


  1. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). (2021). What is acid rain?
  2. Galloway, J. N., Likens, G. E., & Keene, W. C. (2009). The legacy of acid rain: Lessons learned and the future challenges. Science, 324(5930), 917-918.
  3. Driscoll, C. T., Whitall, D., Aber, J. D., Boyer, E. W., Castro, M. S., Cronan, C. S., … & Stoddard, J. L. (2003). Nitrogen pollution in the northeastern United States: Sources, effects, and management options. BioScience, 53(4), 357-374.
  4. Likens, G. E., Driscoll, C. T., & Buso, D. C. (1996). Long-term effects of acid rain: Response and recovery of a forest ecosystem. Science, 272(5259), 244-246.
  5. Stoddard, J. L., Jeffries, D. S., Lükewille, A., Clair, T. A., Dillon, P. J., & Driscoll, C. T. (1999). Regional trends in aquatic recovery from acidification in North America and Europe. Nature, 401(6753), 575-578.
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Acid rain and the reaction for iron. (2019, January 15). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 2, 2024, from
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