Lesson 7: Impact Categories in LCA – Acidification
Understanding Acidification’s Impact on the Environment
- Acidification: an environmental impact category assessing acid deposition due to acidifying emissions.
- Acid rain or dry deposition, caused by substances like sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), impacts ecosystems.
- Emissions of acidic pollutants reacting with water and atmospheric compounds create acid rain or dry deposition.
- Impacts on aquatic habitats, forests, soils, and sensitive organisms include soil acidification, nutrient imbalances, and harm to ecosystems.
IMPACT OF VEHICLES
- Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) Emissions: NOx from vehicle exhaust reacts with atmospheric components to form nitric acid. Nitric acid deposition can harm soil and water quality.
- Road Salt Usage: In cold regions, road salt is used for de-icing. Runoff can introduce chloride ions into water bodies, increasing acidity and causing acidification.
- Ammonia (NH3) Emissions: Certain vehicles emit ammonia. It can react with atmospheric components, leading to acid deposition and subsequent acidification when deposited on surfaces or in water bodies.
- Battery Acid Leaks: Electric and hybrid vehicles may leak acid electrolytes from their batteries, posing a risk of localized acidification.
- Acidic Cleaning Agents: Some vehicle maintenance cleaning agents contain acids that, if improperly disposed of or washed into water bodies, can increase acidity levels and contribute to acidification.
- Implementing cleaner production technologies, proper chemical management, and waste disposal procedures.
- Using renewable energy sources and minimizing the use of acidifying substances in vehicle manufacturing can help reduce the contribution to acidification.
- Acidification, caused by emissions of acidifying substances, affects ecosystems.
- Vehicles play a role in this issue.
- Sustainable practices and minimizing acidifying emissions can help mitigate the impact.