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Sulfate released from fossil fuels

  1. Nov 3, 2012 #1
    Can somebody please explain how sulfates are released from combustion of fossil fuels?
    I have tried looking online but I can't understand.
    Every website mixes it up with acid rain.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 3, 2012 #2

    Borek

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    Not without a reason, these things are connected.

    What happens to sulfur present in the fossil fuel when the fuel is burnt?
     
  4. Nov 3, 2012 #3
    First thing's first, I guess. Do you know what combustion is?
     
  5. Nov 3, 2012 #4
    Yes I do know what combustion is.
    The burning of a fuel in O2
     
  6. Nov 4, 2012 #5

    Borek

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    OK< now answer the other question. What happens to sulfur in these conditions?
     
  7. Nov 4, 2012 #6
    umm would it get oxidised??
     
  8. Nov 4, 2012 #7

    Borek

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    Yes. What will be the product (or products)?
     
  9. Nov 4, 2012 #8
    Ok I sort of understand it now.

    One more thing I'm researching the environmental impacts of sulfate ion. Will acid rain be among them.
     
  10. Nov 4, 2012 #9

    Borek

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    What are the combustion products?

    They are in the air, what happens when they meet a cloud (which is just a suspension of water droplets)?
     
  11. Nov 4, 2012 #10
    Okay so the product would be
    sulfur dioxide and CO2 or C
    which can be further oxidised into So4?
    am I right?
     
  12. Nov 4, 2012 #11

    Borek

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    Close, but not there yet.

    What happens when SO2 reacts with water?
     
  13. Nov 4, 2012 #12

    chemisttree

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    Hold on there, sport! There's one more reaction to go before we get wet!
     
  14. Nov 4, 2012 #13

    Borek

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    Yes, but I am trying to steer OP in the direction of the low pH - and SO2 presence already explains it. Plan was to make things more confusing later :wink:
     
  15. Nov 7, 2012 #14
    Would SO2 somehow react with water to form H2SO4?
     
  16. Nov 7, 2012 #15

    Borek

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    Reaction between water of SO2 doesn't produce sulfates (nor sulfuric acid), it produces other acid - and that's already enough to lower pH.

    What is the acidic oxide that reacts with water to produce sulfuric acid?
     
  17. Nov 7, 2012 #16
    HSO3 ??

    So this may be a silly question but sulfuric acid and sulfur ion are sort of related aren't they. I don't want to get marked down because I wrote down that it produces sulfuric acid and not specifically mention the sulfur ion in the process.
     
  18. Nov 7, 2012 #17
    or is it H2SO3?
     
  19. Nov 7, 2012 #18

    Borek

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    H2SO3 or sulfurous acid.

    No idea what you mean by "sulfur ion".

    SO2, apart from reacting with water, undergoes series of reactions that end in another sulfur oxide/another acid.
     
  20. Nov 7, 2012 #19
    I am studying the environmental affects of sulfate (sorry should have written sulfate ion)
    which is SO4
    so If I write down acid rain which is essentially H2SO4 hydrogen+sulfate ion I won't get marked down would I? just checking because our teacher told us to be very specific and careful with what we write down.
     
  21. Nov 7, 2012 #20
    SO you need to make H2SO3 to lower pH to then make H2SO4 from that?
     
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