The Effect of Acid Deposition on Different Contents of Calcium Carbonate in the Pedosphere

Environmental Studies
Holly Brisendine

Elyse Wexler

Increased fossil fuel combustion and vehicle emissions have caused a release of harmful pollutants into the air that combine with rain, snow, or hail and create acids that fall into the Earth’s soil. Acid deposition deprives the soil of nutrients, but there are different methods to mitigate the effects of acidic soil. Previous research has proven that calcium carbonate is found in limestone and can neutralize acidic soils. Calcium carbonate is also frequently seen in different household products. In this research, we set out to find how well specific limestone products work and what sustainable products could possibly reduce the effects of soil acidity. To answer this question, agricultural lime, hydrated lime, and eggshells were each added to soil samples and a simulated acid rain solution was created using distilled water and vinegar. The solution was sprayed on the soil samples to replicate acid rain and the pH of each soil sample was tested and recorded. The results of the study demonstrated that hydrated lime and eggshells had the highest increase in pH, from a pH of 6.0 to 9.5. Both products produced a light blue color after the experiment, indicating a pH of around 9.5. Hydrated lime contains a high-water content, and eggshells are thick and made of mainly calcium carbonate, making it easy for the acid rain solution to mix with the calcium carbonate in both products and neutralize the soil. The implications of this study could be used to encourage the use of sustainable and cheap methods to limit the effects of acid deposition and promote a healthy environment.

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