What is carbon dioxide?

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Carbon dioxide is a gaseous chemical compound that naturally occurs in the atmosphere. It is composed of two oxygen atoms combined with one carbon atom. This particular gas has no odor and color and is soluble in water. A part of the air in the atmosphere is from the air that people breathe out upon exhalation. This chemical compound may also be produced by various processes including burning of other gas items among many others.

For plant life, carbon dioxide is considered an essential part in their food manufacturing process called photosynthesis. With sunlight as the main driving factor, carbon dioxide will be absorbed by plants and the gas will eventually be mixed with water from the roots to produce a carbohydrate called glucose. This sugar is the only food that is needed by plants to give them energy for various processes related to their growth and development. Without carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the water absorbed by the roots will not be able to produce energy for the plants. Being water soluble, carbon dioxide will basically mix with water to form a carbohydrate called glucose which is used by the plants for its energy source.

For human life, carbon dioxide is used by various industries for many purposes. The fizz in many soft drinks and sodas are due to the addition of carbon dioxide. Other food products like candies also user carbon dioxide to create a bubbling effect. Some baking ingredients like leavening powders or agents take advantage of carbon dioxide to help the dough rise. Without this effect from leavening agents, dough preparations will not properly rise and so will not have the right texture and consistency. The same gas may also be used in the manufacture of fire suppressants or retardants and other chemicals. Metal carbonates also need carbon dioxide in the production process. The oil industry also uses carbon dioxide during the recovery process.

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