Environmental studies and Forestry: Develop hypotheses predicting the effect of pyrite and limestone on water acidity

Post-Lab Questions


Experiment 1

  1. Develop hypotheses predicting the effect of pyrite and limestone on water acidity? Why would you predict these effects?
  2. Pyrite hypothesis;

From the experiment, the effects of pyrite cause water mild acidity on water. On the other hand, the addition of Limestone on water caused a mild basic reaction. Therefore, the addition of limestone to the pyrite solution would cause a neutralization process that would bring water to its normal PH of 7.

  1. Limestone hypothesis.

Due to its basic elements, Limestone would is used as a neutralizing agent in the mining process

Experiment 1: The Effects of Coal Mining

Water Sample Initial PH Final PH
Pyrite 7 6
Limestone 7 8
Water 7 7
Pyrite+ Limestone+ Water 7 7


  1. Based on the results of your experiment, would you reject or accept each hypothesis that you produced in question 1? Why?
  2. Pyrite hypothesis accept/reject

I accept the proposition indicated in Q.1 based on the results of the change in PH during the eperiment. The Pyrite dropped the water PH level by 1

  1. Limestone hypothesis accept/reject =

I would accept the hypothesis based on the results of the experiment change in PH during the result. The Limestone increased the water PH level by

  1. Based on your data, what effect do you predict coal mining has on the environment?

Coal mining has a weighty adverse effect on the surroundings. The evidence of this is widely known considering the acidic nature of the Pyrite. However, the process is significantly cheap to the major players in the energy industry a factor that has seen it become a used in large-scale causing significant destruction of forests and cause significant risks to animals as well as human beings.

  1. Based on your data, why would you use limestone to treat acid mine damage? Utilize at least one scholarly resource to support your suggestions.

Acid mine drainage (AMD), as indicated above is a source of significant environmental pollution that affects a variety of living organisms in general in wide areas. There are principally two ways of remedying the destruction namely

  1. Active treatments and passive treatments
  2. Anoxic limestone drains, open limestone channels, and land reconstruction

As indicated by Mujuru (34) these two processes help reduce the acidity as well as metal contents after ADM. In both solutions mentioned above, limestone is used as a neutralizing agent due to its high concentration of calcium carbonate. The element aids in keeping a neutral pH (7) and aids to reduce the formation of acid that causes pollution.

Experiment 2: Solar Energy

  1. Develop hypotheses predicting the efficiency of solar energy from direct sunlight against the four variables tested.

Direct vs. indirect (at an angle) hypothesis

If the solar cell captures the sun in direct sunlight, then it will produce a high current as opposed to if it sits at an angle.

Direct vs reflected (using aluminum foil reflector) hypothesis

The foil reflective elements will allow extra light on the panel allowing extra current thus will produce faster movement as opposed to direct sunlight does.

Direct vs shaded (covering the solar panel) hypothesis

Covering the cell would slow down the amount of current that is being emitted from direct sunlight.

Direct vs filtered (using color filtration) hypothesis

The different cellophane colors used as filters will affect the amount of sunlight being captured and emitting a lower current.

Table 2

Environmental Descriptor/ Variable Observations (Each should be compared to direct sunlight
Motor speed in direct sunlight Very Fast
Motor speed at 45-degree angle Fast
Motor speed with 25% shaded Very Fast
Motor speed with 50% shaded Fast
Motor speed with 75% shaded Moderate Movement
Motor speed under  reflectors Very Fast
Motor speed under red filtration Fast
Motor speed under blue filtration Moderate Movement
Motor speed under green filtration No Movement
Motor speed under yellow filtration Slow


  1. Based on the results of your experiment, would you reject or accept each hypothesis that you produced in question 1? Explain how you determined this.

Direct vs indirect accept/reject

Accept, I accepted considering that when the solar panel was set directly towards the sunlight caused the motor to move very fast.

Direct vs reflected accept/reject

Accept, I accepted considering that when the reflective foil was used to mirror some light into the solar panel the motor moved very fast.

Direct vs shaded accept/reject

Rejected, I reject considering when the panel was cover at 25% and 50% the motor was almost stationary. Additionally when it was 75% covered the motor stayed stationary with no movement.

Direct vs filtered accept/reject

Accept, I accept because the motor moved slowly when the yellow, green, blue, and red were applied but not as fast as direct sunlight.

  1. Does increased exposure to the sun’s light produce more current? Explain how you know this based on your data

From the data collected from the experiment, it is evident that the more the exposure, the more the current flow. The revolving motor determined the current from the solar panel. The faster the movement indicated, the more the present. With more exposure, it is evident that the motor moved more quickly indicating more current.

  1. How could you increase the electricity generated by a solar cell during the day when the sun’s angle is continuously changing?

From the data collected it can be argued that the best way to guarantee an increase in electric current is achieved by placing the solar panels on a movable platform, this will allow the panels to be at any particular time in a position that they receive maximum sunlight.

  1. Based on your data, could adding filters to solar panels increase the solar energy produced? Explain how you know this?

From the experiments conducted, it is clear that adding filters does not help conduct more power considering the movement of the motor.


Work Cited

Mujuru, Munyaradzi. Management and Mitigation of Acid Mine Drainage in South Africa: Input for Mineral Beneficiation in Africa. , 2016. Internet resource.