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rain - Cloud water chemistry and the pH rain Chemical...

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1 Cloud water chemistry and the pH rain Chemical Principles: 1. acid-base reactions are reversible and fast --> equilibrium is obtained quickly, the extent of reaction can be estimated using thermodynamic relationships (kinetics can often be ignored) 2. redox reactions are essentially irreversible (very large K eq 's) and slow ––> equilibrium may never obtain, the extent of reaction must be estimated using kinetics (thermodynamics not realistic) Paradigm: the pH of rain on earth is controlled by the dissolution of acidic gases in cloud water droplets A. pH of rain depends on: 1. dissolution of gases into water 2. acid dissociation reactions Æ both are relatively fast , reversible reactions: thermodynamic relationships (equilibrium) apply 1. Dissolution of CO 2 : CO 2(g) + H 2 O H 2 CO 3(aq) at equilibrium, [H 2 CO 3(aq) ] K eq = K H = –––––––––––––– (M atm -1 ) [CO 2(g) ] Nota bene: the concentration of water is nearly constant in aqueous solutions, does not appear in the
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