Molecular Advent Day 24: Carbon Dioxide

Be curious, innate, engage, motivate

The world we are in is AMAZING

And you can change ANYTHING

Today is Christmas Eve, so close  you door, snuggle up and enjoy ten facts about today’s molecule Carbon Dioxide written by Dominique Skinner:

co2-blanket-of-gas co2-chimney

Carbon dioxide is another molecule with household fame, possibly painted more as a villain than a friend at the moment. With the varied roles it plays in our world I felt it was better to refrain from bias and cover as many as possible.

10 Facts about Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

1. Carbon dioxide is a gas formed of two oxygen atoms and one carbon atom, bonded together by a covalent bond.

2. It is currently in our atmosphere at around 0.04%, whereas the atmosphere was mostly made of carbon dioxide around 4.5 billion years ago.

3. Carbon dioxide is used in the production of fizzy drinks and wine (to help cool grapes rapidly).

4. It can be used in airguns and paintball guns as CO2 can be pressurised.

5. Fortunately, it can be used as a fire extinguisher by starving the flame of oxygen and therefore putting the fire out, however it doesn’t cool down the burnt substances.

6. As mentioned in the oxygen blog, carbon dioxide is a reactant for photosynthesis in plants; the reaction that allows plants to make their own food.

7. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, which causes the surface and lower atmosphere of the earth to warm up.

8. Carbon dioxide dissolves into the oceans, which takes it out of the atmosphere, however increased uptake of carbon dioxide due to rising levels in the atmosphere will decrease the pH of the oceans causing it to be unsuitable to wildlife overtime.

9. Carbon dioxide poisoning, due to lack of gaseous exchange in the lungs can cause levels so high in the blood they become toxic.

10. Each of our bodies produces approximately 1kg of carbon dioxide per day.

Finally, here’s a few ways to reduce your carbon footprint, perhaps they could make it into your New Year resolutions.