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Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide is the basis of the bubbles in most carbonated drinks. A chemical compound, symbol CO2, at room temperature Carbon dioxide is a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas about one and one-half times as dense as air. It occurs in abundance in the atmosphere and is absorbed by plants, which absorb the carbon and release oxygen. It is stable, inert and nontoxic (although it can cause death by suffocation if inhaled in large amounts).

Carbon dioxide was one of the first gases to be described other than air, and was first properly identified in the mid 18th century by Scottish chemist Joseph Black, who called it ‘fixed air’. Then in 1772, another chemist Joseph Priestley published a paper entitled Impregnating Water with Fixed Air where he described a process to produce carbon dioxide, and then forcing the gas to dissolve in a bowl of water in contact with the gas, and represented the invention of Soda water.

Carbon dioxide has many commercial uses, including in fire extinguishers, industrial lasers and in the wine making industry.