Carbon dioxide is a gas that is obtained as a final product of a number of chemical and biological processes. Its concentration in the atmosphere is rather low, although it has increased a lot in recent years.
Carbon dioxide is made up of two carbon atoms and one oxygen atom, so that its chemical formula is CO2. This molecule is linear and symmetric geometry, the Lewis structure that represents it is: O = C = O. Next, and by way of summary, the characteristics, properties and effects of carbon dioxide.
Characteristics Of Carbon dioxide
1. Structure and formula
As the name implies, carbon dioxide is made up of two carbon atoms and an oxygen atom, so its chemical formula is CO2. The carbon dioxide molecule has linear and symmetric geometry, and the Lewis structure that represents it is: O = C = O. Formerly it was also called carbon dioxide or carbon dioxide.
2. Physical properties
At room temperature and atmospheric pressure, carbon dioxide is a colorless and odorless gas, but it can solidify if it is subjected to temperatures below -79 ° C, as well as decompose if exposed to high temperatures (above 2000 ° C).
3. Solubility and density
Carbon dioxide is well soluble in water (each volume of water dissolves 0.9 volume of C02) and its density is 1.5 g / cm3 (one and a half times that of air).
Carbon dioxide is formed from various processes, including:
Combustion. From fossil and non-fossil materials, such as oil, coal, gas.
Fermentation. The fermentation of sugars by bacteria and yeasts usually leads to the release of acids and / or alcohols and CO2.
Breathing. Both the higher animals and the plants breathe; in that process there is oxygen uptake and release of carbon dioxide.
Reaction of carbonates in acid medium.
5. What is carbon dioxide for?
The photosynthesis made by plants and some other photosynthetic organisms, such as algae, requires CO2, so that these beings consume a large part of the carbon dioxide. This is a very important process, since it tends to partially reverse the growing accumulation of dioxide associated with the industrialization of urban centers.
6. Effect on pH
The carbon dioxide dissolved in distilled water tends to bring the pH of that to a slightly acid value, because it occurs first to the formation of carbonic acid (H2CO3) and then of the bicarbonate ion (HCO3-).
7. Transported in the blood
The body produces carbon dioxide in the breath, it is transported in the blood in three ways: dissolved in the plasma, in the form of bicarbonate and combined with proteins such as carbamines.
Carbon dioxide in its solid form, which is achieved by exposure to low temperatures, forms dry ice. This is a very used and efficient refrigerant, when losing cold it does not become water (like common ice), which tends to minimize microbial contamination in fresh products.
9. Not flammable
This gas is not combustible and in general is not very reactive towards other substances, thanks to which it is ideal to be used in fire extinguishers or domestic extinguishers. Being gaseous, it is directly compressed inside the extinguisher and does not require any additional discharge mechanism. In addition, it does not conduct electricity, which is why it is used to extinguish fires where there is a risk of electric shock.
10. Main responsible for the greenhouse effect
The emission of gases, including carbon dioxide, has increased alarmingly in the last century. It is estimated that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen by almost 100 ppm in the last 150 years.
This is related to the increase in the temperature of the Earth and a series of concomitant damages (melting of polar ice caps, changes in natural vegetation, changes in animal species, etc.). Most of the carbon dioxide emissions come from industrial processes that take place in developed countries.