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Uses of Carbon Dioxide you probably don’t know

1. Fire extinguishers

Carbon dioxide is useful as a fire extinguisher because it is heavier that air and does not support combustion. In one type a striker is hit sharply with the hand. This breaks the glass bottle of acid. The acid spills down and mixes with the solution of sodium bicarbonate in the bottom of the metal container. A foam of carbon dioxide bubbles then streams out of the jet, which is then aimed at the tire. The foam blankets the fire, cutting off oxygen.

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In another type the mixing of soda and acid is done by simply turning the extinguisher upside down.

2. Mineral waters

Mineral waters like ‘Sprite’, ‘Tango’, ‘Fanta’, ‘Krola‘, and so on, contain carbon dioxide which has been dissolved in the flavoured water under pressure. When the bottles are opened and the pressure is released, effervescence or foaming occurs due to the rapid escape of carbon dioxide.

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3. Refrigerants

Solid carbon dioxide is known as ‘dry ice’. The solid has a temperature of -79°C. It is superior to ice for commercial use since it changes directly from the solid to the gas leaving no residue. A given weight of solid carbon dioxide will also produce a greater cooling effect than an equal welght of ice. It is widely used for the shipping of perishable cargoes like meat and fish.

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4. Leavening agents

Yeast and other substances used for leavening bread operate by the production of carbon dioxide. The pressure of carbon dioxide causes the dough to rise.