Students will be able to describe the effect of acid rain on plants.
Sodium nitrite, 1 molar sulfuric acid, 2 potted houseplants of the same type, 2 large clear plastic bags, 50 ml beaker, twist tie or tape.
1.Place 2 g of sodium nitrite in a beaker. Place a plant and the beaker inside the plastic bag. Do not seal the bag yet.
2.Steps 2 - 4 should be carried out only under a fume hood. Carefully add 2 ml of I M solution of sulfuric acid to the beaker. Immediately seal the bag tightly, and secure the seal with a twist tie or tape. (This reaction produces sulfur dioxide)
3.Seal an identical plant in an identical bag that does not contain sodium nitrite or sulfuric acid.
4.After 10 minutes, cut both bags open. Stay at least 15 ft. away from the bags as the sulfur dioxide dissipates. Keep the bags in the fume hood.
5.Predict the effects of the experiment upon each plant over the next few days. Record these predictions.
6.Observe both plants over the next three days and record those observations in data table D
Data table D
Students should write up a lab report according to the scientific method. They should include a statement of the problem, hypothesis, procedure (including dependent and independent variables and a control), data, conclusions and validity.
Students should also answer the following questions:
1.What can you conclude about the effects of acid rain on plants?
2.In what ways is this experiment a realistic representation of acid rain?
3.In what ways is this experiment not a realistic simulation of acid rain?