Carbon Dioxide

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carbon dioxide

Carbon Dioxide Definition:

CO 2 , also known as carbon dioxide, is a colorless, odorless gas and an atmospheric gaseous air.

What is Carbon Dioxide (CO 2) Formula?

CO 2 is the molecular formula  of carbon dioxide   consisting of one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms, as the name indicates. The carbon dioxide molecule has the following linear structural formula:

When CO 2 is cooled to below -78.5 ° C, the state of the form is changed from gas to a solid form, often called dry ice. CO 2 is the fully oxidized form of carbon, and it is therefore one of the products when carbonaceous compounds react with oxygen (O 2 ). Reactions with oxygen are called daily burns, and therefore carbon dioxide comes off when burning oil, natural gas or wood etc. Humans and animals burn glucose molecules to get energy, and therefore CO 2   is one of the products that is emitted by humans by breath.

In plants, on the other hand, CO 2  is absorbed in photosynthesis, where it is used to form larger organic molecules (e.g. carbohydrates) from carbon dioxide. The general reaction equation is shown below.

Photosynthesis formula

Carbon dioxide effects on global warming

In addition to a role in the biology, CO 2 is also at the center of global warming issue. This is due to the fact that the presence of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere makes the atmosphere able to ‘hold the heat’, which makes carbon dioxide contributing  to global warming. Therefore, you want to reduce CO 2 emissions by using green energy (such as solar and wind energy) rather than generating energy through fossil fuels.

PPM (parts per million)

How much CO 2  is there in the air? Since CO 2 represents only about 0.038% of the earth’s atmosphere, a more appropriate measurement method has been introduced; “ppm“. Ppm stands for ‘parts per million’, and 1 ppm CO 2 means that there is 1 g CO 2 per tons of atmospheric air. The atmospheric content of carbon dioxide measured in ppm is about 380 ppm.

Carbon dioxide equivalent

It is not only CO 2 that contributes to global warming. Also other molecules such as methane (CH 4 ), nitrous oxide (N 2 O) and CFC gases, collectively termed as greenhouse gases, have contributed to global warming. But 1 kg of methane and 1 kg of carbon dioxide do not contribute equally to global warming. Therefore, the contributions of greenhouse gases are measured in terms of so-called carbon dioxide equivalent. As an example, the emission of 1 kg of methane has an effect on global warming as much as 23 kg CO 2 , and therefore 1 kg of methane is  23 kg of CO 2 equivalents.