Scientists monitor the concentration of pollutants in the atmosphere and develop ways to reduce them.
sulfur + oxygen → sulfur dioxide
S(s) + O2(g) → SO2(g)
Sulfur dioxide dissolves in water in the clouds to form acid rain.
Acid rain damages the natural and built environment. For example, it:
High temperatures are reached when fuels are burned in engines. At these high temperatures, nitrogen and oxygen from the air can react together to produce oxides of nitrogen. For example:
nitrogen + oxygen → nitrogen monoxide
N2(g) + O2(g) → 2NO(g)
Nitrogen oxide gas can be oxidised further in air to produce nitrogen dioxide gas, NO2.
These two oxides of nitrogen are together called NOx. They are atmospheric pollutants. They can react in sunlight with other substances to produce a hazy, harmful smog. Nitrogen dioxide is toxic. It can cause bronchitis and other lung diseases. It also dissolves in water in the clouds, forming an acidic solution that contributes to acid rain.
Write a balanced equation for the reaction between nitrogen monoxide and oxygen, forming nitrogen dioxide.
2NO + O2 → 2NO2