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Acid Rain : Causes, Effects and Solutions

news-details Image Source Jun 04, 2021 21:20 IST · 2 min read

A singapore-flagged cargo ship caught fire near the Colombo beach resulting in the emission of nitrogen dioxide, there could be slight acid rains in the area due to the emission.

What is "Acid Rain" ?

Acid rain is a form of precipitation with acidic components, such as sulfuric or nitric acid that fall to the ground from the atmosphere in wet or dry forms. This can include rain, snow, fog, hail or even dust that is acidic.

Acid Rain occurs when sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) present into the atmosphere react with water, oxygen and other chemicals to form sulfuric and nitric acids.

The major sources of SO2 and NOX in the atmosphere are: lightning strikes, volcanoes, burning of fossil fuels, oil refineries, electricity generation, coal-firing power stations, animal agriculture and other industries.

Acid rain have adverse impacts on human health, forests, freshwaters and soils, it can kill insect and aquatic life, cause paint to peel, corrosion of steel structures and weathering of stone buildings and statues.

Sulfuric and nitric acids not only fall to the ground in the form of rain, snow, fog, or hail but also in the form of acidic particles and gases.

The gases can be carried hundreds of kilometers in the atmosphere before they are converted to acids and deposited.

The acidic particles and gases may deposit to surfaces of water bodies, vegetation and buildings, the accumulated acids are washed off a surface by the next rain, this acidic water flows over and through the ground and harm plants and wildlife.


Any step taken to conserve energy will reduce the amounts of fossil fuels that are burned to produce that energy, thereby reducing the formation of acid rain.

The flue-gas desulfurization (FGD) are used to remove sulfur-containing gases from the stack of coal-firing power stations. An example of FGD is a wet scrubber, a reaction tower equipped with a fan that extracts hot smoke stack gases from a power plant and turns sulfur pollution into industrial sulfates.

Vehicle emissions control: It is a set of practices to reduces emissions of nitrogen oxides from motor vehicles.

Fluidized bed combustion: It is a combustion technology used to burn solid fuels, it reduces the amount of sulfur emitted in the form of SOx emissions. Limestone is used to precipitate out sulfate during combustion.

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