Sulfuric acid and environmental considerations

Sulfur is present in oil and gas sources as hydrogen sulfide or sulfur organic compounds. It is formed by combustion of fossil fuels with sulfur dioxide, which, by dissolving in the water in the atmosphere, creates acid rain. Sulfur dioxide can cause respiratory complications even in small amounts. This gas will dilute sulfuric acid in the presence of water vapor in the air and oxygen, which can rain down on the surface soils, thus increasing the acidity of the soil and water. Acidic soils can in turn have a profound effect on the adaptability of plants and animals. It should be noted that acid rain can also destroy marble buildings.

Sulfuric acid production is closely correlated with sulfur dioxide production. Therefore, industry experts and engineers are trying to provide a significant portion of the sulfur and sulfur dioxide needed by industries (rather than natural resources) from industrial waste and by-products that contain large amounts of unused waste and exhaust gases. This means that any change in the production process as well as the feed of the chemical industry needs to understand the environmental consequences of these changes. Sulfuric acid, for example, is used today to produce sulfur from natural gas instead of mineral sulfur. The move reflects human efforts to maintain health and environmental considerations in recent decades. That is why today the share of human life in the production of sulfur pollutants is less than 5%, compared to the past.

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