Lab Experiment #4

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Lab 4 – Energy Sources and Alternative Energy

Experiment 1: The Effects of Coal Mining
Table 1: pH of Water Samples
Water Sample
Initial pH
Final pH (24-48 hours)
Activated Carbon


1. Develop hypotheses predicting the effect of pyrite and coal on the acidity of water?

a. Pyrite hypothesis = If pyrite is added to a beaker with 100mL of water, then it will reduce the pH over 48 hours.
b. Coal hypothesis = It activated carbon is added to a beaker with 100mL of water, then it will increase the pH over 48 hours.

2. 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.

a. Pyrite hypothesis accept/reject = I would accept the hypothesis, seeing as how the pH did in face lower from 6 to 2.
b. Coal hypothesis accept/reject = I would consider this hypothesis to be correct as the pH increased from 6 to 10.

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

Answer = Coal mining basically removes the coal from the ground which would hinder the Earth's ability to reduce its acidity as the charcoal helps raise and ultimately balance the planet's pH. The soil's pH greatly affects the way planet life ingests nutrients and flourishes, which allows humans to harness essential components from nature.

4. What can be done to prevent mine drainage from damaging the ecosystem? Utilize at least one scholarly resource to support your suggestions.

Answer = According to World Coal, there are mining operations underway to help refresh damaged land. This is done by shaping the previously mined soil, then packing it and laying it back down in such a way to vegetate healthily again (Coal Mining & the Environment, n.d.).

Experiment 2: Solar Energy
Table 2: Solar Energy Experiment Results
Environmental Descriptor/Variable
(Each should be compared

References: Coal Mining & the Environment. (n.d.). mine rehabilitation, mine reclamation. Retrieved March 19, 2014, from environment/

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