A report on sulfur dioxide

Essay by steady__eddie May 2004

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Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) is a colourless gas at room temperature and has a pungent odour. It can be formed into a liquid at under high pressure; it dissolves in water easily and has a boiling point of -10°C. Sulfur Dioxide is a combination of oxygen and sulfur, which both have six valence electrons.

Sulfur Dioxide is a polar molecule with the more electronegative atom, oxygen, bearing a partial negative charge and the less electronegative atom, sulfur, bearing a partial positive charge. Sulfur Dioxide has dipole-dipole interaction as well as the London forces as the intermolecular forces between the molecules. Sulfur Dioxide has strong covalent double bonds and so is very stable. The electrons around the sulfur create an expanded octet, as there are ten electrons around the sulfur instead of eight.

Sulfur Dioxide is a terrible air pollutant and has many health effects. Sulfur Dioxide is formed from the oxidation of fuels containing sulfur, such as coal and petrol.

Sulfur Dioxide is found in power plants, refineries, copper smelting facilities and car exhaust. When released into the environment, sulfur dioxide moves into the air where it is converted to sulfuric acid, and sulfur trioxide. It falls down and dissolves in water and forms sulfuric acid. It is also absorbed into the soil, causing all sorts of problems and robbing plants of their nutrients while the acid rain does direct damage to the leaves.

Sulfur Dioxide causes breathing problems with asthmatic children and adults. Short-term exposure causes wheezing, chest tightness and lack of breath. Other long-term effects include respiratory illness, and can aggravate existing cardiovascular diseases. It can affect the eyes and skin too, and when in gas form it is a severe irritant. Sulfur dioxide can cause and nitrogen oxides are the major causers of acid rain, which acidifies soils,