Influence of Particle Size on the Ability of
Limestone to Neutralize Acid Rain

By Ian Smith


Before Lime Added

After Lime Added


The goal of this study was to examine how changing the average particle size would alter the rate at which limestone could buffer against changes in pH due to compounds associated with acid rain.  Results showed that the rate of reaction increased significantly as the average grain size of the sample decreased.  The smallest grain size range proved to be 250% faster over a 6 minute interval and 457% faster over the first 10 seconds than the largest grain size range was over the same intervals.  This was attributed to larger amounts of surface area; an estimated 537% more for the smallest range when compared to the largest.  Despite the use of identical amounts of both limestone and sulfuric acid solution throughout, the final pH of the resulting solution decreased as the grain size increased.  Further tests and examinations suggest that this difference may be due to the reacted product inhibiting further reactions from occurring. 


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