3 pages/≈825 words
Biological & Biomedical Sciences
Chemistry Applications in the Real World Research (Essay Sample)
The paper required me to look in details some of the applications that Chemistry has in the real world. I was to give several chemical interactions and concepts surrounding the field of study in real life.source..
Chemistry Applications in the Real World
Chemistry Applications in the Real World
Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change
The application of chemistry knowledge is not limited to laboratories but extends to explaining daily phenomena where scientists have utilized the knowledge to explain various situations. One of the applications of this knowledge is in understanding the science behind global warming and climate change which are ongoing global issues. This paper focuses on the chemistry behind global warming and climate change, particularly in the interaction of greenhouse gases and their contribution to the problem.
Greenhouse gases are a result of human activities and for a long time scientists have related them to the rising climate changes occurring globally in correlation with the increase in human activities. Greenhouse gases are defined as both naturally occurring through processes such as organic decomposition and those that are as a result of human activities such as burning of fossil fuels. They include gases such as water vapor, methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and ozone gas which occur naturally and a second group that exists purely from human activities comprising of mainly fluorinated gases such as: chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs), hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), halons, nitrogen trifluoride, and sulfur hexafluoride (Tran, Chong, Keith, & Shively, 2014).
The presence and increase of these gasses in the atmosphere has contributed to the warming of the atmosphere by acting as a blanket which absorbs all the infrared radiation (heat) emitted from the earth and transferring it to the surrounding gases (Greenhouse gas, n.d.). The warming of the atmosphere has in turn contributed to the rising temperatures of the earth resulting to what is known as global warming from the greenhouse effect. The collective effects of these warming are such as changes in rainfall patterns, melting of glaciers, and rising of sea levels all which are a result of climatic changes experienced across the earth.
Chemical Interactions and the Underlying Chemical Concepts
The interactions of the above mentioned greenhouse gases provide the chemical interactions that result in the blanket which acts as an insulator in the atmosphere. The major gases that contribute to these interactions are carbon dioxide (CO2), ozone, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which shall be discussed into details within this section of the paper including the chemical concepts involved.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) occurs both naturally and as a result of human activities though at its natural state it has no major effect on the atmospheric climate. The increase in activities related to burning of fuel due to industrialization and the decline of carbon sinks around the earth has contributed to a high level of atmospheric CO2 (Tran et al., 2014). The burning of fossil fuels contributes to the high levels of carbon dioxide gas since combustion utilizes oxygen to produce CO2 and water as given by the following chemical equation;
6 O2 + C6H12O6 ------ > 6H2O + 6 CO2 + Energy
Due to high production of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, the amount of infrared radiation absorbed has increased leading to a higher level of the heat being distributed back to the earth causing higher warming.
Ozone and CFCs
Ozone (O3) is a major gas in the atmosphere where its interaction with other gasses forms major bases for other chemical interactions that lead to global warming. The interaction of ozone which forms a protective layer on the atmosphere shielding the earth from ultraviolet rays of the sun is hugely compromised by the rise in other greenhouse gases mainly those of the halon origin such as bromine and chlorine (Tran et al., 2014).
The interactions of ozone with either bromine or chlorine means that there is constant depletion of the ozone layer impacting on both the levels of climate change and UV rays on earth. CFCs contain chlorine, fluorine and carbon atoms which are considered stable enough to make their way into the atmosphere at the stratosphere level (Tran et al., 2014). Ones in the stratosphere, the CFCs interact with highly energized protons forcing the atom apart which is where the process of ozone depletion begins. An example of how chlorine interacts with ozone shows how other halons react with ozone gas as shown below;
Step 1: Cl + O3 ClO + O2
Step 2: ClO + O Cl + O2
Overall reaction: O3 + O 2O2
Chlorine in the reaction serves as a catalyst where it initiates the breakdown of ozone as illustrated by the first step above where it combines with one oxygen molecule to form ...
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