Breathing in humans is a very natural, involuntary process. As we breathe in, we take in air and as we breathe out, air is released from our system. Is it all the same air though?
No. While breathing in, we inhale oxygen from the atmosphere. The gas released during respiration and combustion is Carbon.
Although the effects of carbon dioxide were observed before the scientists knew its function, it was in 1603 that Flemish scientist Jan van Helmont discovered that certain vapors differed from air. He coined the term gas to describe these vapors and collected this gas given off by burning wood and called it gas sylvestre. This gas is now known as carbon dioxide, and van Helmont is credited with its discovery.
The fact stating that Carbon Dioxide is exhaled breath was however first laid down by Joseph Black in 1756.
Facts about carbon dioxide:
1) What is carbon Dioxide?
Carbon dioxide is simply a chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms and one carbon atom. It is represented as CO2.
2) Humans contribute to only 6 billion tons of carbon of the total 186 billion from carbon dioxide that enters the earths atmosphere every year.
Nature is responsible for almost 180 billion tons of carbon released into the atmosphere. 90 billion tons of carbon are released every year by plants while the rest 90 comes from volcanoes and decaying organisms.
3) The atmosphere does not always have the CO2 produced.
The atmosphere doesn’t permanently hold the co2 it produces. The atmospheric co2 is instead recycled and used by plants for their various needs.
4) CO2 does not react with grape juice or wine components, and hence is considered an inert (unreactive) gas for the purposes of wine production.
Carbon dioxide being a heavy and inert gas doesn’t react with grape juice to aid in wine production. When solid co2 is introduced into wine, it simply floats at the surface forming a blanket of co2.
5) The physical states of CO2.
The two most predominant physical states that co2 exists in are solid and gas. It acts as a gas at standard temperature and pressure. When cooled below -78 degrees, it forms a solid called dry ice.
6) CO2 levels in the atmosphere today are not at record high levels.
carbon di oxide forms a very small volume of the total volume of gases present in the atmosphere. Although the issue of global warming is at rise, geologists claim that the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere today is very less in comparison to few 100 years ago.
7) There has historically been much more CO2 in our atmosphere than exists today.
The jutassic period was believed to have had high co2 concentrations of about 1800 ppm. This has been estimated to be almost 4.7 times the concentration present today. The Cambrian period was recored to have had highest co2 concentration of about 7000 ppm , almost 18 times the present values.It is believed that during ice age, the atmosphere housed about 4000 ppm of CO2.
8) If a living organism is locked in an air-tight room, it will die of carbon dioxide poisoning before oxygen suffocation.
9) The polar caps of Mars are mostly made up of carbon dioxide.
10) Production of Carbon dioxide.
Carbon Dioxide is produced when carbon containing substances are burned and also due to respiration process of humans. During the day, plants absorb Carbon Dioxide which is returned to the atmosphere at nights. Transfer of Carbon dioxide also takes place in the oceans.