What type of reaction illustrates how acid rain causes the decomposition of marble monuments?

1 Answer
Apr 18, 2017


Acidic rain and fog


Precipitation with enough dissolved acids to have a pH<5.6 is found in many areas in the World. The leading contributing acids are sulfuric acid and nitric acid. Since these acids are in the air, they can be carried hundreds of kilometers from their origin (factory smokestacks, smelters, industrial zones, urban centres, etc.).

The effect of these acids is to dissolve carbonates (e.g. marble buildings), corrode metals (cars, monuments, etc.), and kill aquatic ecosystems. Marble and limestone consist of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), and differ only in their crystalline structure.

The following chemical reaction provides details:

#H2SO4 (aq) + CaCO3 (s) -> SO4^(2-) (aq) + Ca^(2+) +CO2 + H2O#

After such reaction, marble is disintegrated with time.