Essay about Carbon Dioxide

862 Words Nov 14th, 2010 4 Pages
Crystal Lewis
9/21/10
Period 1
Carbon Dioxide Carbon Dioxide is the infrastructure of all life on earth. Every human being and animal needs it to survive, making it an essential compound. In order to survive, humans and animals must give off carbon dioxide to take in oxygen, whereas plants must take in the compound and give off oxygen. Carbon Dioxide has numerous unique characteristics, properties, and safety measures that everyone should be aware of. Being aware of this compound and what it does could mean the difference between life and death. First of all, Carbon Dioxide, also known as CO2, has very distinctive characteristics about it that are unlike any other compounds. Carbon Dioxide was first discovered by Joseph Black in
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These causes alone are responsible for about 22% of carbon dioxide that is in the air (Lenntech). Carbon Dioxide is not only used for the survival of living things, but can also be used for radiocarbon dating. That is when the carbon-14 in Carbon Dioxide decays and turns into ordinary carbon. This takes place when things die and it shows you the radioactivity of the decayed organism. By measuring the radioactivity, it can show you how long something has been dead (Science Encyclopedia).
In addition to their characteristics, elements are very diverse when it comes to their properties. First off, Carbon Dioxide is only soluble in water, ethanol, and acetone (UCC). It is also incombustible, slightly acidic, very stable, and has a concentration of about .03% (Articles Base). Carbon Dioxide also has a very low melting point of -55.6oC and a freezing point of -78.5oC (UCC). Another important property of Carbon Dioxide is that it can change the pH of water. Plain water has a pH of 7, but when it is exposed to air, carbon dioxide turns into carbonic acid in the water. That carbonic acid reacts slightly and reversibly in the water causing it to then have a pH of 5.5 (Lenntech).
The average amount of Carbon Dioxide in the air measures approximately 7.7 billion tons a year (Encyclopedia of Life Sciences). Due to the Carbon Dioxide trapping the heat and reflecting it back to the Earth’s surface, there is a large amount of Carbon Dioxide in the air. This is what

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