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Atmospheric Molecule Reaction

  1. Jan 4, 2015 #1
    The atmosphere consists of two toxic, and unfortunately abundant gases in our atmosphere. Carbon dioxide and methane. Carbon dioxide produced by factories are not needed in the atmosphere and cause harm. So is methane. Acegikmoqsuwy and I thought of an equation to solve this problem: CH4 + CO2 --> 2H2O + C2 . The part of this equation that needs some fixing is the first side. How do you calculate the energy required for this reaction? How do you isolate the gases in the atmosphere? I would be glad to get generous responses.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 4, 2015 #2
    Do you know the relative concentrations of methane and CO2 in the atmosphere? Look them up, and then tell us whether you think that the reaction you suggest, if it could actually occur, would be effective. Do you think that the reaction you suggested would be favored thermodynamically, so that it would go nearly to completion?

    You mentioned that methane is produced in factories. What fraction of the methane release to the atmosphere is produced in factories?
  4. Jan 4, 2015 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Neither carbon dioxide nor methane are toxic.
  5. Jan 4, 2015 #4


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    I wouldn't go that far.

    It's true that breathing CO2and CH4 in the concentrations in which they are found in the atmosphere won't cause harm.

    However, if one is exposed to an isolated atmosphere in which the concentration of CO2 is elevated, eventually the amount of CO2 in the bloodstream rises and makes the blood more acidic. This change in the blood gases can eventually cause convulsions and death if the concentration of CO2 is not lowered. That's why places where isolated atmospheres occur, like submarines or spacecraft, are equipped with chemicals to absorb CO2.


    Of course, if an atmosphere contains only CO2 or CH4 and little or no oxygen, asphyxiation will result.

    The OP apparently doesn't realize that some CO2 in the atmosphere is needed, lest all the plants die.
  6. Jan 4, 2015 #5


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    Point taken. But both CO2 and methane have very low toxicity.

    I was primarily annoyed by the OP describing them as toxic while the main problem they can cause in the atmosphere is global warming.
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