Deutsch: Säure / Español: Ácido / Português: Ácido / Français: Acide / Italiano: Acido /

An Acid is a Corrosive solution with a pH less than 7.


Acid in the environment refers to the presence of acidic substances in various ecosystems, including air, water, and soil. These substances, such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, are often released into the environment through human activities like industrial processes and vehicle emissions. When these acidic pollutants combine with water vapor in the atmosphere, they form acidic compounds like sulfuric acid and nitric acid, which can then be transported across long distances by wind and precipitation.

Acid rain is a well-known consequence of these acidic emissions, which can have detrimental effects on aquatic ecosystems, vegetation, and infrastructure. When acid rain falls on soil and water bodies, it can lower the pH levels, making them more acidic and thus harmful to many organisms. Acidification of lakes and rivers can lead to the decline of fish populations, while acidifying soils can impact plant growth and nutrient availability.

In addition to acid rain, acid deposition can also contribute to the acidification of soils and waters. This occurs when acidic pollutants settle on the ground or are washed into water bodies, gradually altering their pH levels and affecting the overall health of ecosystems. Acidification of soil can limit the availability of essential nutrients for plants, while acidification of water can harm aquatic life and disrupt food chains.

Acidification of the environment is a complex issue that requires monitoring and mitigation efforts to reduce the levels of acidic pollutants. Regulatory measures, such as emissions controls and pollution prevention strategies, can help to minimize the impacts of acid deposition on the environment. Additionally, research and collaboration among scientists, policymakers, and industries are crucial in addressing the long-term effects of acidification and promoting sustainable practices that protect the health of our planet.

Application Areas

Well-Known Examples

  • pH regulation in water bodies: Measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a body of water.
  • Sulfuric acid rain: Caused by pollutants reacting with water vapor in the atmosphere, resulting in environmental damage.
  • Hydrochloric acid in industrial cleaning: Used to remove scale and rust from equipment in industrial settings.
  • Nitric acid in fertilizer production: Key component in the creation of nitrogen-based fertilizers.
  • Acid mine drainage: Occurs when sulfide minerals in mines react with water and air, creating acidic runoff.

Treatment and Risks

  • Neutralization: An acid-base reaction in which an acid is combined with a base to form water and a salt.
  • Buffering: The ability of a system to resist changes in pH when an acid or base is added.
  • Liming: Adding lime to soil or water to neutralize acidity and raise pH levels.
  • Phytoremediation: Using plants to absorb and detoxify acids in the environment.
  • Corrosion control: Preventing acid-induced degradation of materials through protective coatings or inhibitors.

Similar Terms

  • pH: A measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution.
  • Acidification: The process of making something more acidic.
  • Acid deposition: The process by which acidic particles and gases are deposited from the atmosphere onto surfaces.
  • Acid rain: Rainfall that has been made more acidic by pollution in the atmosphere.
  • Acid mine drainage: The outflow of acidic water from mining operations.

Examples of Sentences

  • High levels of acid rain are harmful to the environment.
  • The effects of these acids on marine life are still being studied.
  • The acid's impact on the soil quality is concerning.
  • Many scientists are researching ways to reduce acidifying emissions.



Acid deposition refers to the presence of acidic substances in the environment, primarily caused by emissions from human activities such as industrial processes and vehicle exhaust. These acids can have harmful effects on soil, water, and biodiversity. Acid rain, a form of acid deposition, can lower the pH of bodies of water, affecting aquatic life and the surrounding ecosystem. Acidic soils can impact plant growth and nutrient availability. Efforts to reduce acid deposition include implementing regulations to limit emissions and promoting cleaner technologies.


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