Carbon dioxide is a non-flammable colorless and odorless gas present in the Earth’s atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is denser than oxygen which is why it is used as an ingredient in some fire extinguisher products. Carbon dioxide is harmful in large amounts and as such is sometimes utilized as a killing agent for some harmful pests such as the common clothes moth.
Carbon dioxide is essential in the food making process of plants. However, its increasing concentration in the Earth’s atmosphere has been a cause for alarm. Scientists say that if the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is not controlled, extreme climactic changes will happen as a result.
While carbon dioxide can be harmful in excessive amounts, this colorless and odorless gas is used in various industries manufacturing food, chemicals, and pharmaceutical medicines. Carbon dioxide is even used in the oil industry as an agent to effectively extract oil from deep within the earth.
Carbon dioxide is largely used in the food manufacturing business. Carbonated drinks are treated with carbon dioxide to give that sparkly taste. Decaffeinated coffee is produced by soaking the coffee beans in water infused with sufficient carbon dioxide to flush out and eventually absorb the caffeine content. Even some soda crackers are injected with carbon dioxide not only to make them crispy but to extend their shelf life as well. And of course, wine and beer makers have been making use of carbon dioxide not only as a fermenting agent once mixed with yeast, but for storage as well since carbon dioxide greatly minimizes and delays the oxidation process.
Carbon dioxide can be easily produced, especially by us humans. We breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Some household activities such as cooking can also result in the production of carbon dioxide. One very good example of this is bread making. Mixing in yeast to the dough releases carbon dioxide causing it to rise. One other example is taking an antacid to relieve stomach aches caused by hyperacidity. Notice how the antacid crackles and produces bubbles after being mixed in water. The gas produced is actually carbon dioxide gas.
If you want to experiment on making carbon dioxide using commonly found household materials, gather the necessary things first. Have some vinegar, baking soda and glass container handy. Mix the two ingredients in the glass container. Notice how the mixture will fizzle when you stir it. The bubbles produced actually contain the carbon dioxide gas. The same effect is achieved when you mix sugar, yeast, molasses and water together in a container.