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Effect of acid rain on algae Featured science projectScience project video


The hypothesis that green algae and red algae are acidophilic and can survive in acidic water is proven to be correct. However, the green was only able to survive in the pH6 solution, and not in the pH5 solution.

Acid rain is causes a lot of environmental damage around the world. Acid rain is detrimental to many living things. It  kills microorganisms living in the soil and stops them from producing nutrients for plants. This causes stunted growth and even results in the death of plants. Lakes lose their fish because of acid rain. People and animals living around the lakes are hence losing a valuable  source of food. Buildings, bridges, vehicles and other structures are also affected by acid rain. Acid rain strips structures of their paint and corrodes them. It is therefore important for us to understand the negative effects of acid rain and for us to play our part in helping to keep pollution levels down, in order to prevent its occurrence.

Also consider

What would happen if this science fair project was repeated using other acids such as  hydrochloric acid or nitric acid? Would the algae react in the same way?

Have you wondered whether algae are able to survive in basic (alkaline) solutions?

The experiment can be repeated to observe the growth of different types of algae such as the Gonium or Cladophora.


Acid rain’s affect on plants and wildlife -

The effects of acid rain on pond algae -

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 day to prepare, 4 days for observation
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

Basic safety requirements, Use gloves and safety goggles/masks when handling the sulphuric acid.