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Carbon dioxide is a colorless odorless non-toxic and slightly acid-tasting gas Sometimes referred to as a carbonic acid gas the molecule consists of one atom of carbon joined to two atoms of oxygen It occurs naturally in the atmospheres of many planets including that of earth Carbon dioxide is uniformly distributed over the earths surface at a concentration of about 0033 or 330 parts per million It was called fixed air by the Scottish chemist and physician Joseph Black in the 1750s who obtained it through the decomposition of chalk and limestone He recognized that it entered into the chemical composition of these substances The French chemist Antoine Lavoisier proved that it is an oxide of carbon by showing that the gas obtained by the combustion of charcoal is identical in its properties with the fixed air obtained by Black Carbon dioxide is about one and one half times as dense as air It is soluble in water 09 volume of the gas dissolving in one volume of water at twenty degrees Celsius sixty-eight degrees Fahrenheit Carbon dioxide becomes a solid at negative seventy-eight and one half degrees Celsius Commonly called dry ice solid carbon dioxide at normal pressures will not become a liquid as its temperature rises Instead it sublimes- that is it changes from a solid directly into a gas Carbon dioxide is produced when any substance containing carbon is burned It is also a product of breathing and fermentation Plants absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis and plants and soil return some carbon dioxide to the atmosphere through respiration Carbon dioxide is also produced in other ways such as the fermentation of sugars and the decomposition of carbonates under the influence of heat or acids Commercially carbon dioxide is recovered from furnace or kiln gases fermentation processes reactions of carbonates with acids and from reactions of steam with natural gas Because the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is low it is
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