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# Acid rain

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is emitted from fossil fuel combustion. In the atmosphere, SO2 is oxidized by
OH to produce sulfuric acid (H2SO4). This is a one-to-one relationship in which 1 mole of SO2
produces 1 mole of H2SO4. When 1 mole of H2SO4 dissolves in water, it produces 2 moles of H+,
H2SO4 ( aq) ! 2H+ + SO2
4 .

Ex 1: Consider a cubic meter of air at a temperature of 20C and pressure of 100 kPa. How many
moles of air are contained in this volume? Note: all quantities must be converted to S.I. units before
calculating, i.e. pressure must be in units of Pa (not kPa), and temperature must be in Kelvin. See
http://es.ucsc.edu/~jnoble/EART6/SI-quantities.v2.pdf

## Given information and conversions to S.I. units

" 1000 Pa %
100 kPa ! 100 kPa\$ = 105 Pa
# 1 kPa '&
20C ! 20C + 273 K = 293K

Set up equation
PV
PV = nRT ( n =
RT

n=
( )(
10 5 Pa 1 m 3 ) ! n=
(10 5
)(
Pa 1 m 3 ) !
( 8.314 J mol 1
K 1
)( 293K ) (8.314 J mol 1
K 1
)(293 K )
Pa ) m 3 ) mol
n = 41.1
J
Rewriting units in their fundamental form shows how they cancel to leave only # of moles

*+ N ) m 2 ,- ) m 3 ) mol * N m 2 , ) m 3 ) mol
Pa ) m 3 ) mol N ) m ) mol
! ! + - ! !
J [N ) m] [N ) m] [N ) m]
N ) m ) mol
! [ mol]. Therefore, n = 41.1 mol
*+ N ) m ,-

Ex 2: If increased pollution leads to a sulfur dioxide (SO2) concentration of 6 parts per billion (ppb),
and all of the SO2 is converted to sulfuric acid (H2SO4), how many moles of H2SO4 would be present
in this m3 of air? Use the number of moles of air calculated above.

moles of solute
ppb = ! 10 9 , where solute = H 2SO 4
moles of solution
( 6 H 2SO 4 ppb ) ( 41.1 mol of air )
6 H 2SO 4 ppb =
moles of solute
( )
10 9 " moles of solute =
41.1 moles of air 10 9 ( )
moles of solute = 2.47 ! 10 7 mol of H 2SO 4
Ex 3: A certain cloud has 1 milliliter (mL) of liquid water per cubic meter of air. Calculate what the
concentration of hydrogen ions in the cloud water would be if all the sulfuric acid (from above)
dissolved into this amount of water.

## Calculate the moles of H +produced by ionizing H 2SO 4 in water

" 2 mol of H + %
( 2.47 ! 10 mol of H 2SO 4 \$
7
)
# 1 mol of H 2SO 4 '&
(

" 2 mol of H + %
( 2.47 ! 10 7
mol of H 2SO 4 ) \$ ' = 4.94 ! 10 mol of H
# 1 mol of H 2SO 4 &
7 +

Since these moles of H + get dissolved in the cloud water, calculate the
concentration of H + in the given volume of liquid (cloud water).
4.94 ! 10 7 mol of H + 4.94 ! 10 7 mol of H + 4 mol of H
+
( = 4.94 ! 10
1 mL 10 3 L L