Thursday, 14 April 2011

Surface Tension of Acid Rain

So in the previous post I talked about how my first grade teacher distorted physical principles of the raindrop.  When I was going home I thought about acid rain.  What is the effect of acid rain on surface tension?
Acid rain occurs when sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide react in the atmosphere with water, oxygen, and other chemicals to form various acidic compounds in the atmosphere.  If you have ever been to the Acropolis in Greece you can see the result of the rain as much of the building gets damaged by the rain resulting from the pollution around Athens.  Aquatic life is also harmed by the acid rain.   So how does the acid in the water affect surface tension?

Yes adding an acid would change the hydrogen bonding within the water and at its surface.  So it would lower the surface tension of the water.  This would obviously have an affect on aquatic life that lives on the surface of the water as well as it would change the temperature of the water.  I asked this question from Kibron, the company we bought the AquaPi.  They provided me with some of this answer.  They also mentioned that oil companies use the AquaPi to measure acidic water at the refineries.    They actually go with this instrument into the field and scoop up water then measure it.  Cool!