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Acid Rain and pH Visualization Lab

This lab seeks to give students a more concrete understanding of the pH scale and how it applied to acid precipitation. Most students are familiar with the concept of the pH scale, and understand how to read it. However, few appreciate the exponential nature of the scale. For example, an acid of pH 4.0 is ten times stronger than an acid of pH 5.0. Students will perform a titration of eight simulated rainwater samples with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) to get a more concrete sense of how much stronger of an acid different pH levels are.

Essential concepts: Acid rain, pH, acid precipitation, rainwater, air pollution, sulfur dioxide, sulfuric acid, nitric oxide, nitric acid.

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