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Sr. Contents Page

No No
Chapter I
1 Aim and Objective of Project 2-7
1.1 Introduction
Chapter II
Introduction of Environment &
Environmental Pollution
2 2.1 Introduction of Various types of 8-11

Chapter III
Reporting & Methodology

3.1 What Should Rain Be Like?

3.2 Formation of Acid Rain
3.3 Measure Acid Rain
3 3.4 Causes Of Acid Rain 12-30
3.5 Natural Emissions
3.6 Effect Of Acid Rain
3.7 Sources

3.8 Prevention Of Acid Rain

3.9 Case Study: - TajMahal

Chapter IV
Summary & Conclusion
4 4.1 Summary 31-33

4.2 Conclusion
5 Bibliography 35
Study Of Acid Rain


Aim and Objectives

of Project.

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To Study What is Acid Rain

ObjectivesOf Project

To Study What is Acid Rain

To study Acid Formation in the Atmosphere
To Study Effects of Acid Rain
To study Effect of Acid Rain on Human& Nature
To Study prevention from Acid Rain
What Should Rain Be Like?
How Acid Rain Is Formed
How Do We Measure Acid Rain?
Causes Of Acid Rain
Natural Emissions
Effect Of Acid Rain

Prevention Of Acid Rain

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"Acid rain" is a broad term used to describe several ways that acids fall out of the
atmosphere. A more precise term is acid deposition, which has two parts:

Wet deposition refers to acidic rain, fog, and snow. As this acidic water flows
over and through the ground, it affects a variety of plants and animals. The strength of
the effects depend on many factors, including how acidic the water is, the chemistry
and buffering capacity of the soils involved, and the types of fish, trees, and other
living things that rely on the water.

Dry deposition refers to acidic gases and particles. About half of the acidity
in the atmosphere falls back to earth through dry deposition. The wind blows these
acidic particles and gases onto buildings, cars, homes, and trees. Dry deposited gases
and particles can also be washed from trees and other surfaces by rainstorms. When
that happens, the runoff water adds those acids to the acid rain, making the
combination more acidic than the falling rain alone.

Prevailing winds blow the compounds that cause both wet and dry acid
deposition across state and national borders, and sometimes over hundreds of miles.
Scientists discovered, and have confirmed, that sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen
oxides (NOx) are the primary causes of acid rain. In the US, About 2/3 of all SO2 and
1/4 of all NOx comes from electric power generation that relies on burning fossil fuels
like coal.

Acid rain occurs when these gases react in the atmosphere with water,
oxygen, and other chemicals to form various acidic compounds. Sunlight increases
the rate of most of these reactions. The result is a mild solution of sulfuric acid and
nitric acid.

The term acid rain is commonly used to mean the deposition of acidic
components in rain, snow, dew, or dry particles. The more accurate term is "acid
precipitation." Acid rain occurs when sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are emitted
into the atmosphere, undergo chemical transformations and are absorbed by water
droplets in clouds. The droplets then fall to earth as rain, snow, mist, dry dust, hail, or

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sleet. This increases the acidity of the soil, and affects the chemical balance of lakes
and streams.

The term "acid rain" is sometimes used more generally to include all forms of
acid deposition - both wet deposition, where acidic gases and particles are removed by
rain or other precipitation, and dry deposition removal of gases and particles to the
Earth's surface in the absence of precipitation.

Acid rain is defined as any type of precipitation with a pH that is unusually

low. Dissolved carbon dioxide dissociates to form weak carbonic acid giving a pH of
approximately 5.6 at typical atmospheric concentrations of CO 2. Therefore a pH of
less than 5.6 has sometimes been used as a definition of acid rain. However, natural
sources of acidity mean that in remote areas, rain has a pH which is between 4.5 and
5.6 with an average value of 5.0 and so rain with a pH of less than 5 is a more
appropriate definition. The US EPA says, "Acid rain is a serious environmental
problem that affects large parts of the US and Canada" Acid rain accelerates
weathering in carbonate rocks and accelerates building weathering. It also contributes
to acidification of rivers, streams, and forestdamage at high elevations. When the acid
builds up in rivers and streams it can kill fish.

The science of Environment studies is a multi-disciplinary science because it

comprises various branches of studies like chemistry, physics, medical science, life
science, agriculture, public health, sanitary engineering etc. It is the science of
physical phenomena in the environment. It studies of the sources, reactions, transport,
effect and fate of physical a biological species in the air, water and soil and the effect
of from human activity upon these.

Need to control acid rain

Literary environment means the surrounding external conditions influencing

development or growth of people, animal or plants; living or working conditions etc.
This involves three questions:

1. What is surrounded?

The answer to this question is living objects in general and man in particular.

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2. By what Surrounded

The physical attributes are the answer to this question, which become
environment. In fact, the concern of all education is the environment of man.
However, man cannot exist or be understood in isolation from the other forms of life
and from plant life. Hence, environment refers to the sum total of condition, which
surround point in space and time. The scope of the term Environment has been
changing and widening by the passage of time. In the primitive age, the environment
consisted of only physical aspects of the planted earth' land, air and water as
biological communities. As the time passed on man extended his environment
through his social, economic and political functions.

3. Where Surrounded

The answer to this question. It is in nature that physical component of the plant
earth, viz land, air, water etc., support and affect life in the biosphere. According to a
Goudie environment is the representative of physical components of the earth where
in man is an important factor affecting the environment.

(i) Definitions of Environment : Some important definitions of environment

are as under:

1. Boring: A persons environment consists of the sum total of the

stimulationwhich he receives from his conception until his death.

It can be concluded from the above definition that Environment

comprises various types of forces such as physical, intellectual,
economic, political, cultural, social, moral and emotional. Environment
is the sum total of all the external forces, influences and conditions,
which affect the life, nature, behaviour and the growth, development
and maturation of living organisms.

2. Douglas and Holland: The term environment is used to describe, in

theaggregate, all the external forces, influences and conditions, which
affect the life, nature, behaviour and the growth, development and
maturity of living organisms.

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(ii) Scope of Environment: The environment consists of four segments as under:

1. Atmosphere: The atmosphere implies the protective blanket of

gases,surrounding the earth:

(a) It sustains life on the earth.

(b) It saves it from the hostile environment of outer space.

(c) It absorbs most of the cosmic rays from outer space and a major portion
of the electromagnetic radiation from the sun.

(d) It transmits only here ultraviolet, visible, near infrared radiation

(300 to 2500 nm) and radio waves. (0.14 to 40 m) while filtering out tissue-
damaging ultra-violate waves below about 300 nm.

The atmosphere is composed of nitrogen and oxygen. Besides, argon, carbon

dioxide, and trace gases.

2. Hydrosphere: The Hydrosphere comprises all types of water resources

oceans,seas, lakes, rivers, streams, reserviour, polar icecaps, glaciers,
and ground water.

(i) Nature 97% of the earths water supply is in the oceans,

(ii) About 2% of the water resources is locked in the polar icecaps and

(iii)Only about 1% is available as fresh surface water-rivers, lakes streams,

and ground water fit to be used for human consumption and other uses.

3. Lithosphere: Lithosphere is the outer mantle of the solid earth. It

consistsof minerals occurring in the earths crusts and the soil e.g.
minerals, organic matter, air and water.

4. Biosphere: Biosphere indicates the realm of living organisms and

theirinteractions with environment, viz atmosphere, hydrosphere and

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1 Introduction of Various types of Pollution

Definition Of Pollution:

Pollution is defined as Any undesirable changes in the

physical, chemical, or biological of natural water, air or soil, which
can adversely affect the life or can create potential health hazard to
any living organism or can cause damage to the non-living, things,
material or property.

In simple words any, direct or indirect alternation in any of

the components of environment which is harmful to man or any
other living organism or industrial process or property referred as


1. Air Pollution
2. Water Pollution
3. Thermal Pollution
4. Nuclear Pollution
5. Soil Pollution
Air pollution

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Air pollution involves the release of gases into the

atmosphere, finely divided solids, or finely dispersed liquid
aerosols at rates that exceed the capacity of the atmosphere to
dissipate them or to dispose of them through incorporation into
solid or liquid layers of the biosphere. Air pollution results from a
variety of causes, not all of which are within human control. Dust
storms in desert areas and smoke from forestland grass fires
contribute to chemical and particulate pollution of the air. Forest
fires that swept the state of Victoria, in Australia, in 1939 caused
observable air pollution in Queensland, more than 2,000 miles
(3,000 kilometers) away. Dust blown from the Sahara has been
detected in West Indian islands. The discovery of pesticides in
Antarctica, where they have never been used, suggests the
extent to which aerial transport can carry pollutants from one
place to another. Probably the most important natural source of
air pollution is volcanic activity, which at times pours great
amounts of ash and toxic fumes into the atmosphere. The
eruptions of such volcanoes as Krakatoa, in the East Indies, Mt.
St. Helens, in Washington, and Katmai, in Alaska, have been
related to measurable climatic changes.

Air pollution may affect humans directly, causing a

smarting of the eyes or coughing. More indirectly, the effects of
air pollution are experienced at considerable distances from the
source, as, for example, the fallout of tetraethyl lead from urban
automobile exhausts, which has been observed in the oceans
and on the Greenland ice sheet. Still less directly experienced are
the possible effects of air pollution on global climates.

Climatic effects of polluted air

Less obvious than local concentrations of pollution but

potentially more important are the climatic effects of air
pollutants. Thus, as a result of the growing worldwide
consumption of fossil fuels, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels

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have increased steadily since 1900, and the rate of increase is

accelerating. The output of carbon dioxide is believed by some to
have reached a point such that it may exceed both the capacity
of plant life to remove it from the atmosphere and the rate at
which it goes into solution in the oceans. In the atmosphere
carbon dioxide creates a greenhouse effect. Like glass in a
greenhouse, it allows light rays from the Sun to pass through, but
it does not allow the escape of the heat rays generated when
sunlight is absorbed by the surface of the ground. An increase in
carbon dioxide, therefore, can cause an increase in the
temperature of the lower atmosphere. If allowed to continue, this
could cause melting of the polar ice caps, raising of the sea level,
and flooding of the coastal areas of the world. There is every
reason to fear that such a climatic change may take place.

Counterbalancing the effect of carbon dioxide is the increase

of particulate matter in the air, a result of the output of smoke,
dust, and other solids associated with human activity. Such an
increase might, in turn, increase the reflectance of the
atmosphere, causing a higher percentage of solar radiation to be
reflected back into space. This, in time, could cause a lowering of
the Earth's surface temperature and, potentially, a new ice age.
At present, however, the greater danger appears to lie in the
steady increase in carbon dioxide, with its associated
atmospheric warming.

Acid rains

Another climatic effect of pollution is acid rain. The

phenomenon occurs when sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides
from the burning of fossil fuels combine with water vapors in the
atmosphere. The resulting precipitation is damaging to water,
forest, and soil resources. It is blamed for the disappearance of
fish from many lakes in the Adirondacks, for the widespread
death of forests in European mountains, and for damaging tree

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growth in the United States and Canada. Reports also indicate

that it can corrode buildings and be hazardous to human health.
Because the contaminants are carried long distances, the sources
of acid rain are difficult to pinpoint and hence difficult to control.
Acid rain has been reported in areas as far apart as Sweden and
Canada, and in parts of the United States from New England to
Texas. The drifting of pollutants causing acid rain across
international boundaries has created disagreements between
Canada and the United States and among European countries
over the causes and solutions of the precipitation.



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The only place on earth where pure water is found is in a laboratory. Rain
water always contains small amounts of impurities. These impurities come from dust
particles or are absorbed from the gases in the air.

If pure water is exposed to the air it absorbs carbon dioxide to form

carbonic acid and becomes slightly acidic, dropping from pH 7 i.e. neutral, to pH 5,6.
Even in remote, unpopulated areas rain can reach a pH of 4,5. However, a pH of less
than 4,5 in rain is almost certainly caused by pollution.

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Fig: Formation of Acid Rain


Acid rain is caused by the release of the gases SO2 (sulphur dioxide) and
NOX (nitrous oxides). The main sources of SO2 in South Africa are coal-fired power
stations and metal working industries. The main sources of NOX emissions are
vehicles and fuel combustion.Sulphur dioxide reacts with water vapour and sunlight
to form sulphuric acid. Likewise NOX form nitric acid in the air. These reactions take
hours, or even days, during which polluted air may move hundreds of kilometres.
Thus acid rain can fall far from the source of pollution. When mist or fog droplets
condense they will remove pollutants from the air and can become more strongly acid
than acid rain. Even snow can be acid. Gases and particles, not dissolved in water,

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with a low pH can also be deposited directly onto soil, grass and leaves. It is possible
that even more acidity is deposited in this way than by rain! Not much is known about
this process, and it is particularly difficult to study.

3.3 Measure of Acid Rain

Acid rain is measured using a scale called "pH." The lower a substance's
pH, the more acidic it is. Pure water has a pH of 7.0. Normal rain is slightly acidic
because carbon dioxide dissolves into it, so it has a pH of about 5.5. As of the year
2000, the most acidic rain falling in the US has a pH of about 4.3. Acid rain's pH, and
the chemicals that cause acid rain, are monitored by two networks, both supported by
EPA. The National Atmospheric Deposition Program measures wet deposition, and its
Web site features maps of rainfall pH (follow the link to the isopleth maps) and other
important precipitation chemistry measurements. The Clean Air Status and Trends
Network (CASTNET) measures dry deposition. Its web site features information
about the data it collects, the measuring sites, and the kinds of equipment it uses.


Evidence for an increase in the levels of acid rain comes from analyzing
layers of glacial ice. These show a sudden decrease in pH from the start of the
Industrial Revolution of 6 to 4.5 or 4. Other information has been gathered from
studying organisms known as diatoms which inhabit ponds. Over the years these die
and are deposited in layers of sediment on the bottoms of the ponds. Diatoms thrive
in certain pH levels, so the numbers of diatoms found in sediment layers of increasing
depth give an indication of the change in pH over the years.

Since the industrial revolution, emissions of sulfur and nitrogen oxides to

the atmosphere have increased. Occasional pH readings of well below 2.4 (the acidity
of vinegar) have been reported in industrialized areas. Industrial acid rain is a
substantial problem in the People's Republic of China, Eastern Europe, Russia and
areas down-wind from them. These areas all burn sulfur-containing coal to generate
heat and electricity . The problem of acid rain not only has increased with population
and industrial growth, but has become more widespread. The use of tall smokestacks
to reduce local pollution has contributed to the spread of acid rain by releasing gases
into regional atmospheric circulation. Often deposition occurs a considerable distance

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downwind of the emissions, with mountainous regions tending to receive the most
(simply because of their higher rainfall). An example of this effect is the low pH of
rain (compared to the local emissions) which falls in Scandinavia. Acid rain was first
reported in Manchester, England, which was an important city during the Industrial
Revolution. In 1852, Robert Angus Smith found the relationship between acid rain
and atmospheric pollution. The term "acid rain" was used for the first time by him in
1872. Though acid rain was discovered in 1852, it wasn't until the late 1960s that
scientists began widely observing and studying the phenomenon. Canadian Harold
Harvey was among the first to research a "dead" lake. Public awareness of acid rain in
the U.S increased in the 1990s after the New York Times promulgated reports from
the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire of the myriad deleterious
environmental effects demonstrated to result from it.

Emissions of chemicals leading to acidification

Fig: Volcanic injection.

The most important gas which leads to acidification is sulfur dioxide.

Emissions of nitrogen oxides which are oxidized to form nitric acid are of increasing
importance due to stricter controls on emissions of sulfur containing compounds. 70

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Tg(S) per year in the form of SO2 comes from fossil fuel combustion and industry, 2.8
Tg(S) from wildfires and 7-8 Tg(S) per year from volcanoes.

3.5Natural emissions

The principal natural phenomena that contribute acid-producing gases to

the atmosphere are emissions from volcanoes and those from biological processes that
occur on the land, in wetlands, and in the oceans. The major biological source of
sulfur containing compounds is dimethyl sulfide.

The effects of acidic deposits have been detected in glacial ice thousands
of years old in remote parts of the globe.

Human emissions

Fig: The Gavin power plant

The principal cause of acid rain is sulfuric and nitrogen compounds from
human sources, such as electricity generation, factories and motor vehicles. The gases
can be carried hundreds of miles in the atmosphere before they are converted to acids
and deposited.

Gas phase chemistry

In the gas phase sulfur dioxide is oxidized by reaction with the hydroxyl
radical via a termolecular reaction:


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which is followed by:

HOSO2 + O2 HO2 + SO3

In the presence of water sulfur trioxide (SO3) is converted rapidly to sulfuric acid:

SO3(g) + H2O(l) H2SO4(l)

Nitric acid is formed by the reaction of OH with Nitrogen dioxide:


For more information see Seinfeld and Pandis (1998).

Chemistry in cloud droplets

When clouds are present the loss rate of SO 2 is faster than can be explained by
gas phase chemistry alone. This is due to reactions in the liquid water droplets


Sulfur dioxide dissolves in water and then, like carbon dioxide, hydrolyses in
a series of equilibrium reactions:

SO2 (g)+ H2O SO2H2O


HSO3- H++SO32-


There are a large number of aqueous reactions that oxidise sulfur from S(IV)
to S(VI), leading to the formation of sulfuric acid. The most important oxidation
reactions are with ozone, hydrogen peroxide and oxygen (reactions with oxygen are
catalysed by iron and manganese in the cloud droplets).

For more information see Seinfeld and Pandis (1998).

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Acid deposition

Fig: Processes involved in acid deposition (note that only SO2 and NOx play a
significant role in acid rain).

Wet deposition

Wet deposition of acids occurs when any form of precipitation (rain, snow, etc)
removes acids from the atmosphere and delivers it to the Earth's surface. This can
result from the deposition of acids produced in the raindrops (see aqueous phase
chemistry above) or by the precipitation removing the acids either in clouds or below
clouds. Wet removal of both gases and aerosol are both of importance for wet

Dry deposition

Acid deposition also occurs via dry deposition in the absence of precipitation.
This can be responsible for as much as 20 to 60% of total acid deposition. This occurs
when particles and gases stick to the ground, plants or other surfaces.

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3.6Effects of acid rain3

Almost everybody has heard about acid rain and knows that it is something
bad. But what exactly is it? What are its effects on plants, animals, human beings, and
what can be done to solve this problem?

The term acid rain does not convey the true nature of the problem and
therefore scientists use the term "acid depositions". This is because the acid which has
formed due to pollution may return to the earth as a solid or a gas and not just as rain.
Depending upon the climatic conditions it could also come down as rain, fog, or
snow, and in the wet form it is known as "acid precipitation". Acid rain causes
acidification of lakes and streams and contributes to damage of trees at high
elevations (for example, red spruce trees above 2,000 feet) and many sensitive forest
soils. In addition, acid rain accelerates the decay of building materials and paints,
including irreplaceable buildings, statues, and sculptures that are part of our nation's
cultural heritage. Prior to falling to the earth, SO2 and NOx gases and their particulate
matter derivatives, sulfates and nitrates, contribute to visibility degradation and harm
public health.


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Certain industries, as well as emissions from vehicles give rise to increase of

sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides in the air. These emissions change into sulphates
and nitrates under the influence of sunlight and moisture, and get converted into
sulphuric acid and nitric acid, which come down as acid rain.

Coal generally contains between 2 - 3 % sulphur, and when it is burned, this

sulphur is released into the atmosphere. Electric companies and other industries which
burn coal cause a lot of emission of sulphur dioxide. Other industries which process
raw ore containing sulphides in order to obtain copper, zinc, or nickel also cause an
increase in sulphur dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

The major source of emissions of nitrogen oxides into the air, is from vehicles
and other places where fossil fels are burned. Forest fires, often caused by man, either
deliberately or accidentally, are another source of pollution.

Naturally occurring phenomena like volcanic activity, lightning, or organic

decay, also gives rise to an increase in atmospheric pollutants but not much can be
done about these causes. However over 90% of sulphur dioxide emissions and around
95% of nitrogen oxides released into the air are from man made sources.

The problem of acid rain is not new. It was first noticed during the 17th.
century, when people observed the effects of industrialisation on plants and animals.
As far back as in 1872, the Scottish chemist, Angus Robert Smith wrote a book "Air
and Rain: The Beginnings of Chemical Climatology", in which he used the term
"Acid Rain", and the name has stuck. The problem has become severe since the 1960s
when fishermen noticed a sharp reduction in the quantity of fish in lakes of North
America and Europe.

The havoc done by acid rain is not localised in the place where it is caused.
The atmospheric emissions may travel for several days and over long distances
depending upon wind and climatic conditions, before coming down as acid rain. The
problem caused in an industrialised area may therefore result in acid rain in the
surrounding forests or lakes, or even further away. It is believed that around 50% of
the acid rain that occurs in Canada is due to pollution caused in the United States of
America, and the effect of polluting industries in England can be felt in Norway.

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If there were no pollution, the rain would still be acidic. Natural rainfall has
a pH of around 6.0. This is because of the effect of Carbon dioxide in the air which
combines with water to form carbonic acid. The effect of this is however negligible,
as it is neutralised in the soil by alkaline material like limestone. However the other
emissions cause the pH of the rain water to drop below 5.5 and at this level it is
considered to be acid rain. The soil cannot now neutralise the acidity of the rain water.
In some places the acidification is so severe that the pH drops to around 4.0. Rare
cases have been reported of acid rain having pH of around 2 - 2.5.

3.8 Effects of acid rain on plant life.

Both natural vegetation and crops are affected by acid rain. The roots are
damaged by acidic rainfall, causing the growth of the plant to be stunted, or even in its
death. Nutrients present in the soil, are destroyed by the acidity. Useful micro
organisms which release nutrients from decaying organic matter, into the soil are
killed off, resulting in less nutrients being available for the plants. The acid rain,
falling on the plants damages the waxy layer on the leaves and makes the plant
vulnerable to diseases. The cumulative effect means that even if the plant survives it
will be very weak and unable to survive climatic conditions like strong winds, heavy
rainfall, or a short dry period. Plant germination and reproduction is also inhibited by
the effects of acid rain.

Effects of acid rain on aquatic life

The action of acid rain causes harmful elements like mercury and
aluminium to be leached from the soil and rocks and it is then carried into the lakes
where aquatic life may be affected. Warning signs have been posted at several lakes,
telling about the dangers of eating fish which may have been poisoned by mercury.
Just as the soil has a natural ability to neutralise the acidity of rain water, within a
certain limit, so also lakes and other water bodies can to a certain extent nullify the

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effects of acid rain. However as the acidity increases, the natural mechanisms are no
longer able to cope. As the water gets more acidic its pH goes down. As the pH
reaches 5.5, plankton, certain insects and crustaceans begin to die. At a pH of around
5.0, the fish population begins to die. When the pH drops below 5.0, all the fish have
died, and the bottom of the lake lies covered with undecayedmaterial. Every year
during the spring thaw, there is a sudden increase in the acidity of the lakes as frozen
acid is suddenly deposited in them. This "Acid Shock" prevents the reproduction of
aquatic species, or results in the deaths of the hatchlings.

Effects on animals and birds.

All living organisms are interdependent on each other. If a lower life form is
killed, other species that depended on it will also be affected. Every animal up the
food chain will be affected. Animals and birds, like waterfowl or beavers, which
depended on the water for food sources or as a habitat, also begin to die. Due to the
effects of acid rain, animals which depended on plants for their food also begin to
suffer. Tree dwelling birds and animals also begin to languish due to loss of habitat.

Effects on human beings

Mankind depends upon plants and animals for food. Due to acid rain the entire
fish stocks in certain lakes have been wiped out. The economic livelihood of people
who depended on fish and other aquatic life suffers as a result. Eating fish which may
have been contaminated by mercury can cause serious health problems. In addition to
loss of plant and animal life as food sources, acid rain gets into the food we eat, the
water we drink, as well as the air we breathe. Due to this asthmatic people and
children are directly affected. Urban drinking water supplies are generally treated to
neutralise some of the effects of acid rain and therefore city dwellers may not directly
suffer due to acidified drinking water. But out in the rural areas, those depending upon
lakes, rivers, and wells will feel the effects of acid rain on their health. The acidic
water moving through pipes causes harmful elements like lead and copper to be
leached into the water. Aluminium which dissolves more easily in acid rain as
compared to pure rainfall, has been linked to Alzheimers disease. The treatment
of urban water supplies may not include removal of elements like Aluminium, and so
is a serious problem in cities too.

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Fluorocarbons and Ozone Depletion

Ozone (O3) is a gas consisting of three oxygen atoms. The ozone layer of the
atmosphere acts as a shield protecting Earth's surface from the Sun's harmful
ultraviolet (UV) radiation. When ozone absorbs UV radiation, it decomposes into an
oxygen molecule (O2) and an oxygen atom (O) as:

2O3 + UV radiation 3O2 + O

Even a relatively small decrease in the ozone layer could produce significant
risks to human, animal, and plant life. For example, scientists estimated that even a 1
percent decrease in global ozone levels would produce 10,000 more cases of skin
cancer each year.

Fluorocarbons are a class of chemicals widely used in various technologies,

including air conditioning, aerosol cans, and fire extinguishers. While the chemicals
have proved extremely useful, it was not until the 1970s (when growing
concentrations of chlorine were detected in the upper atmosphere) that scientists first
realized that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), a type of fluorocarbon, could potentially
destroy ozone.

The widespread growth of CFCs produced an unsuspecting increase in upper

atmosphere chlorine. When a CFC molecule is released into the atmosphere, it can
remain for many years without reacting with other chemicals. Once the CFC molecule
reaches the upper atmosphere, however, it can be broken apart by UV radiation, thus
releasing a chlorine atom. It is this release of chlorine that poses the serious risk to
Earth's ozone layer, because it is involved in a series of ozone depleting reactions in
which a chemical family or a particular species is depleted, leaving the catalyst
unaffected. Ozone can be affected by such a cycle. In the presence of a chlorine atom
(Cl), atomic oxygen and an ozone molecule are converted into molecular oxygen via
the following two-step process:

O3 + Cl ClO + O2

ClO + O Cl + O2

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A single chlorine atom can potentially destroy many thousands of ozone

molecules. Notice that a chlorine atom is consumed in the first reaction and preserved
in the second reaction. Chlorine atoms thus act as catalysts in the depletion of ozone.

It was not until the Antarctic ozone hole was discovered in 1985 that scientists
first realized how fragile the ozone layer can be to specific chemicals. In 1987 thirty-
one countries agreed to protect the ozone layer through a reduction and elimination of
the chemicals that destroy ozone. This international agreement, known as the
Montreal Protocol, has successfully reduced the use and production of CFCs, with the
long-term goal of restoring the ozone layer to its original state.

Other effects

All living things, whether plants or animals, whether living on land or in the
water or trees, are affected either directly or indirectly by acid rain. Even buildings,
bridges and other structures are affected. In cities, paint from buildings have peeled
off and colours of cars have faded due to the effects of acid rain. From the TajMahal
in India to the Washington Monument great buildings all over the world have been
affected by the acid rainfall which causes corrosion, fracturing, and discoloration in
the structures. In Europe, structures like The Acropolis in Greece and Renaissance
buildings in Italy, as well as several churches and cathedrals have suffered visible
damage. In the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico, and in places in South America, ancient
Mayan Pyramids are being destroyed by the acid rain. Temples, murals, and ancient
inscriptions which had previously survived for centuries are now showing severe
signs of corrosion. Even books, manuscripts, paintings, and sculpture are being
affected in museums and libraries, where the ventilation system cannot eliminate the
acid particles from the air which circulates in the building. In some parts of Poland,
trains are required to run slowly, as the tracks are badly damaged due to corrosion
caused by acid rainfall.

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3.8.1Prevention of acid rain4


The bottom line is that all things on earth are being affected by this problem
and the good news is that something is being done to solve it. Pressure from the
environmental groups, and public has increased as the effects of the havoc caused by
acid rain become more apparent. Governments all over the world have drawn up plans
to tackle this problem.

Lakes that have become highly acidic, can be treated by adding large
quantities of alkaline substances like quicklime, in a process called liming. Although
it has worked in several places, it has not been successful where the lake is very large,
making this procedure economically unfeasible, or in other lakes where the flushing
rate of the lake waters is too large resulting in the lake becoming acidic again.

The best approach seems to be in prevention. To this end environmental

regulations have been enacted to limit the quantity of emissions released in the
atmosphere. Several industries have added scrubbers to their smoke stacks to reduce
the amount of sulphur dioxide dumped in the atmosphere. Specially designed catalytic
converters are used to ensure that the gases coming out from exhaust pipes of
automobiles, are rendered harmless.

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We as individuals can take several steps to alleviate the effects of this

problem. A reduction in use of vehicles will reduce the amount of emission caused by
our vehicles. So do not use the car unless it is absolutely required. For going short
distances, walk or try to use a bicycle. This will not only protect the environment but
also improve your health. If the distance is greater, try using public transportation. If
you must use your vehicle try forming a car pool and share your vehicle with
someone else. Ensure that your vehicle is properly tuned, and fitted with a catalytic
converter, to reduce the emissions. Reduce use of electric power. Switch off lights,
and other electrical appliances when not required. Do not leave your Televisions,
VCRs, Microwave Ovens or Music Systems on Stand-by when not required. Switch
them off. Reducing power consumption will reduce the amount of coal burnt to
produce electricity, and thus reduce the amount of pollution. This is true even if your
electricity company does not use coal for producing electricity, but some other more
environmentally friendly way. This is because the electricity you have saved can now
be used elsewhere, thus benefiting nature.

Speak to others about this problem. Increasing awareness is one way of

ensuring that things are done to solve this global problem. Find out what fuel is being
used by your electricity company to produce electricity. If they use coal, ask what
methods they use to contain, if not eliminate, the problem of sulphur emissions.
Washing the coal used, or using coal having a low sulphur content, is costly and
therefore some companies try to avoid this. If you have the option, switch to a utility
that shows more concern for the environment.

Write to your representative in Government. Pressure from people can make

Governments enact suitable legislation, to ensure that industries keep their emissions
within limits. Join some group which works to protect the environment. When people
get together and speak with one voice they are more likely to be heard.

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7th Wonder of the world one of the worlds beautiful historical monument also
not left untouched from this ACID RAIN.

The durability of the TajMahal has been subject to controversy for more than a
decade due to an increase in the level at Agra allegedly caused by operations of a new
refinery. The failure of the lime plaster in some places has been attributed to this
increase in level. Detailed physico-chemical, petrographic, IR and SEM studies were
carried out on these plasters, but no evidence of degradation due to damage was

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The durability of the TajMahal has been subject to controversy for

more than a decade due to an increase in the SO2 level at Agra allegedly caused by
operation of new refinery. The failure of the lime plaster in some places been has been
attributed to this increase in SO2 level. Detailed physico-chemical, petrographic, IR,
and SEM studies were carried out on this plasters, but no evidence of degradation due
to SO2 damage was found.


The Taj Mahal, which is one of the most important and well known
monuments in the world, is built of bricks with a white marble cladding on the
exterior and lime plaster on the interior. Some years ago the plaster was found to have
failed in some places through cracking, flaking and loss of adhesion. The monument
and its surrounding have been the subject of manage studies in India and abroad.
However, in view of the possible increase in SO2 level in Agra area due to local
industries or the Mathura refinery, studies were under taken to assess the present state
of the plastrwork in the monument .

Physico-chemical studies were carried out on represented plaster sample

obtained from various point of failure within the building. Apart from chemical, X-
rays diffraction and infrared analysis, important supplementary information was
obtained from petrographic and SEM studies.


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The plaster samples were examined visually for their colour, nature of the aggregate,
presence of lumps of lime, fibres, etc. The nature of the aggregate was observed by
mechanically separating the coarse particle and digesting the rest of the samples in 1:1
HCl. The visual characteristics of the plaster constituents are shown in table

Colour \ Sample TP1 TP2 TP3

Exposed Whitish Grey Grayish white
Whitish Creamy Creamy
Unexposed Buff white white
Fine Light Grayish Light
Aggregates Brown buff buff
Lumps of P A A
Fibers P(tr) P P

A=absent; P= present ; P(tr)=present in traces

Chemical analysis:-

The sample for chemical anlysis was prepared by removing the coarse
aggregate and grinding reminder of the sample to pass 150 micron mesh sieve.

The determination of loss on ignition, acid insoluble residue and alumina were
carried out according to, the JCPDS procedure. This was followed by the
determination of thecon. Of magneshium, calcium, iron, sodium & potassium by
atomic absorption spectrophotometry.

A simplified procedure for historic motar analysis proposed by Dupas and

Charola was fdllowed here for the chemical analysis of the plaster.the determination
of the 1:4 HCL insoluble residue, total silica by the classic flux methord and amount
of free lime according to Leducemethord completed the chemical characterization of
the samples .with these data the mineralogical composition of the plaster was
calculated utlizying a three equation system proposed by the Dupas.

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5.1 Summary


1. We studied acid rain its effects and also we have studied TajMahal as our
case study which is a known historical monument in India as well as abroad
because it is 7th wonder of world so it is also a source of income with respect
to tourism department of India.


2. This monument is degraded due to increasing pollution in nearby areas e.g.

Mathura refinery, small and large scale industries in Agra and Indias capital
and one of the most populated as well as polluted city Delhi is some few kms.

3. In order to cure all this government is also having future plans to settle this
problem by shifting industries away from Taj.

4. Also river Yamunna passing in the backyard of Taj Mahal is cleaned up


5. In order to take one more step towards this project we should regularly check
our vehicle from PUC testing centers so that SO2 and NO2 content should be

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5.2 Conclusion

The bottom line is that all things on earth are being affected by this problem
and the good news is that something is being done to solve it. Pressure from the
environmental groups, and public has increased as the effects of the havoc caused by
acid rain become more apparent. Governments all over the world have drawn up plans
to tackle this problem.

Lakes that have become highly acidic, can be treated by adding large
quantities of alkaline substances like quicklime, in a process called liming. Although
it has worked in several places, it has not been successful where the lake is very large,
making this procedure economically unfeasible, or in other lakes where the flushing
rate of the lake waters is too large resulting in the lake becoming acidic again.

The best approach seems to be in prevention. To this end environmental

regulations have been enacted to limit the quantity of emissions released in the
atmosphere. Several industries have added scrubbers to their smoke stacks to reduce
the amount of sulphur dioxide dumped in the atmosphere. Specially designed catalytic
converters are used to ensure that the gases coming out from exhaust pipes of
automobiles, are rendered harmless. Several industries which use coal as fuel have
begun to wash the coal before using it thereby reducing the amount of Sulphur present
in it, and consequently the amount of emissions. Usage of coal with a low Sulphur
content also reduces the problem.

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1. Environmental studies- Shivaji University, Kolhapur.

-Dr. Jay S. Samant

2. Human & Nature :- Dr. Dayanand B. shivate

Information Collected By Internet

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