Who Discovered Carbon Dioxide
Today, carbon dioxide has myriad, and very different, uses. In the form of a gas or liquid, in different concentration levels or mixed with other gases, it is indispensable in the food industry, in medical procedures , as a refrigerant and even for the creation of special effects. Who and how discovered it? Who Discovered Carbon Dioxide carbon dioxide compound carbon dioxide history history of co2
Joseph Black and the discovery of CO 2 Who Discovered Carbon Dioxide
He was a professor of medicine and professor of chemistry at the University of Glasgow who discovered carbon dioxide in 1754. At that time Joseph Black was a highly regarded chemist and researcher .
In fact, a few years before discovering carbon dioxide, he had invented the analytical balance . This, due to its precision in measuring masses much less than one gram, immediately became an essential instrument in the chemistry laboratories of that time and has evolved to this day in the form of advanced digital balances.
But going back to carbon dioxide, Black discovered a gas that was generated by heating calcium carbonate and that was different from air. A gas that he decided to baptize as ‘fixed air’ . Their investigations would not stop there. carbon dioxide compound
He thoroughly studied its properties and chemical activity and soon came to the conclusion that it was an unbreathable gas . He did it with an experiment as simple as it was effective: he put a mouse and a lit candle in a box with carbon dioxide. The first died and the second was extinguished: there was the proof.
His research on CO 2 continued in time and he was the first to isolate carbon dioxide in its pure state . This fact served for another fundamental discovery: the certainty that air is not a simple element, but a compound of different elements.
But Joseph Black is much more than the discoverer of carbon dioxide. He was friends with James Watt , an engineer who perfected the key steam engine as the industrial age took off. He did not hesitate to put into practice in his ingenuity the findings that Black made on latent and residual heat and that marked the beginnings of thermodynamics. carbon dioxide history
What is CO 2 and what is it used for ?
Carbon dioxide is a colorless, water-soluble gas whose molecules are made up of one atom of carbon and two of oxygen . It is a gas that is naturally present on Earth, and not only because humans exhale it, but because it appears in hydrocarbons and is generated by the decomposition or combustion of organic matter or the burning of fuels. history of co2
The natural and unavoidable aspect is that carbon dioxide, under normal circumstances, is part of the planet’s biological cycle . In this way, for example, it is essential for plants to photosynthesize.
It is true, however, that its increase in the atmosphere due to industrial processes does pose a huge risk, since carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that contributes to the rise in temperature of the Earth.
But beyond everything related to pollution and environmental issues, the truth is that carbon dioxide is a gas with multiple uses. Perhaps the best known is its application in carbonated beverages , but it is also used in processes such as decaffeination of coffee or as a preservative for certain foods. history of co2
Carbon dioxide is also used in fire extinguishers, since being heavier than air prevents it from feeding the fire. And in the medical field, it is used as insufflation gas in surgeries such as laparoscopies or endoscopies or for local analgesia or cryotherapy in its liquid state. It is, therefore, a gas that should not be neglected.