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Fun Facts About Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide is vital to our planet, from the air we breathe to the beer and construction industry, carbon dioxide is used in many wondrous ways. Below, we’ve summarised some of the most interesting and important facts about CO2.


What Does CO2 Taste Like?

The CO2 in our atmosphere is odourless and tasteless. This is because it is at such a low concentration that we are accustomed to it; but if you were to increase the amount of CO2 available in the air, you would notice a sharp acidic smell and taste. CO2 is also colourless, but pure is heavier than air so if you had a leak from a CO2 gas bottle, the gas would rest at floor level if it is undisturbed.


It’s Used to Make Tasty Beverages

Carbon dioxide is used to produce carbonated soft drinks and sparkling water, such as Coca-Cola. As beer gas, carbon dioxide is typically used to transfer beer from kegs to dispensing taps via pressurised carbon dioxide.

In wine making, a different type of carbon dioxide is used – dry ice. Dry ice is condensed carbon dioxide and it is used to cool down bunches of grapes to prevent spontaneous fermentation. Dry ice is typically used because, compared to water, it doesn’t affect the sugar concentration of the grapes themselves.

When CO2 is used to create such beverages, sometimes it can leave behind the acidic or sour taste that is experienced if one inhales the gas in high concentrations (this is not recommended). This is an important part of the taste of some drinks and counterbalances the sweetness in some.

You can read more about how gas is used in pubs and brewing on our blog; Carbon Dioxide or Nitrogen: Which Do I Need?

Red wine is poured from bottle to glass

What Would a World of CO2 Be Like?

Carbon dioxide is known as a greenhouse gas and this means that it can ‘trap’ and retain heat. If the Earth’s entire atmosphere consisted of carbon dioxide our planet’s habitat and atmosphere would closely mimic that of the planet Venus.

Venus’ atmosphere consists of roughly 96 – 97% carbon dioxide. Because of the sheer amount of carbon dioxide present, the surface of Venus continually retains heat and, as such, the surface temperature is roughly 467°C, making it the hottest planet in our solar system.


How Much CO2 is Present in Our Atmosphere?

Unlike oxygen and nitrogen, carbon dioxide is a trace gas within our atmosphere – there are roughly 500 parts per million, meaning that 0.05% of the Earth’s atmosphere is carbon dioxide. Although we don’t have much carbon dioxide on our planet, the balance that we do have is very important and so it is important that everyone seeks to reduce their CO2 production to avoid making the Earth more like Venus – trapped in greenhouse gases.

Airplane in sunset sky

How Does Photosynthesis Work?

Photosynthesis is a process that occurs primarily in plants, but there are a few organisms that also use this technique to attain energy. Through photosynthesis, it is possible to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose (sugars and energy), and oxygen is released as a by-product. Most of the oxygen present in Earth’s atmosphere is a result of photosynthesis, so it is also important that everyone supports keeping our planet’s forests and oceans clean if we want our planet to stay healthy.


It Can Be Used as a Laser

Carbon dioxide is the shielding gas for a CO2 laser. These lasers tend to be quite large which makes them difficult to use for precision, but they are very powerful, which can be useful for cutting through thick metal. Since carbon dioxide has multiple vibrational modes, it means that it can emit high-powered light which can be used to etch metal. Lasers are also used in welding, cutting, and surgery.

Welding process

There are a lot of uses and applications for carbon dioxide, and it is tailored in specific ways to ensure that its purpose is fulfilled. At Adams Gas, we are able to provide carbon dioxide gas bottles for any project that you may be involved in. If you would like to know more information, then please get in touch today.