Materials and Methods
Because sulfur dioxide is converted into sulfuric acid, which bonds with water vapor in the atmosphere and results in acid rain, one of the best ways to look for the effects of that acid rain is to look to see how sulfuric acid directly affects specific items. That can be done by placing a few drops of sulfuric acid onto the selected items and waiting a few days to see what the results are. Being careful is key, because sulfuric acid is very dangerous. A well-ventilated hood and protective gloves should be used.
The other materials needed for this experiment are:
100 ml sulfuric acid (H2SO4), concentrated
Large Petri dishes with covers nylon stocking aluminum foil leaf, a flower petal, and a stick
The leaf, the stick, and the flower petal all had the same result. They were all darkened and shriveled a few days after the sulfuric acid was put on them. There was no real difference between the three items, which indicated that the sulfuric acid was damaging to all of them.
As could be seen from the experiment, acid rain is damaging to all types of materials.
Flower petals are certainly more delicate than leaves, and leaves are more delicate than sticks, but none of that seemed to make a marked difference. All of the items were similarly damaged by the sulfuric acid, which would indicate that the strength of a particular plant or organism would have little to do with how well it would hold up under acid rain. This shows very clearly that something must be done to combat acid rain and to stop the damage that is being caused to the planet. There are other, alternative fuels that can be used, and when there are fewer coal and oil particulates in the atmosphere the entire world will benefit and breathe easier.
Davis, Mackenzie L. And Cornwell, David a. (1991). Introduction to Environmental Engineering 2 nded. McGraw-Hill, Inc.: New York.