Here are four different ways chemists use to show a molecule of sulfuric acid
. In the colored molecule models, sulfur is yellow, oxygen is red, and hydrogen is white.
Click on image for full size
Windows to the Universe original artwork by Randy Russell.
Sulfuric Acid - H2SO4
Sulfuric acid is a very common type of acid. Acid rain has sulfuric acid in it. Acid rain harms plants, fish, and other living things.
A type of air pollution causes acid rain. When people burn fossil fuels like oil and coal, the smoke has a chemical in it called sulfur dioxide. When the sulfur dioxide gas comes into contact with water droplets in the atmosphere, it changes into sulfuric acid. This is one of the ways acid rain forms. Volcanoes also give off sulfur dioxide gas.
Sulfuric acid isn't all bad, though. People use this acid in lots of ways. Batteries in cars have sulfuric acid in them. Some drain cleaners do too. Humans make more than 100 million tons of sulfuric acid each year!
The hot atmosphere of the planet Venus has sulfuric acid in it. That makes it really hard to build spacecraft that can last very long in the atmosphere of Venus.
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