Carbon monoxide (CO): Uses, Formula, Poisoning, Detector

Published on 14-Sep-2022

Carbon monoxide (CO)

Carbon monoxide is a colorless gas. It contains one oxygen atom, which is covalently bonded to one oxygen atom. It can also be called carbonic oxide. It has no taste, and it is pretty odorless. When inhaled, it is a poisonous gas that can cause severe damage to the central nervous system (CNS). When it enters the body, it can bind with hemoglobin to form carboxyhemoglobin.

Uses of carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide is used to produce methanol. It is used in the time of packaging meat products such as fish. It is also used in infrared lasers. It is used in foods like cola and jam to acidify them.

It is an excellent reducing agent. It can be used to remove rust from the surface of metals.

How can carbon monoxide be dangerous?

Co is a toxic compound that can form complex relations with hemoglobin in our red blood cells. Hemoglobin creates oxyhemoglobin by combining with oxygen, and oxyhemoglobin transfers oxygen to body cells. CO binds with hemoglobin more strongly than oxygen and therefore forms carboxyhemoglobin. It reduces the amount of oxygen provided to body cells, producing harmful effects.

What things cause the production of carbon monoxide?

CO is a by-product produced in the combustion process. Appliances such as oil or gas furnaces, gas water heaters, fireplaces, and charcoal grills can have CO. 

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Breathing in large amounts of carbon monoxide can be very dangerous. Some symptoms that show up when a person takes in too much carbon monoxide are Nausea, weakness, headache, dizziness, vomiting, and death.

Prevention of CO poisoning

Firstly, symptoms should never be ignored. Your house must have plenty of ventilation if you live near factories and furnaces. Sleeping close to kerosene heaters should be avoided.

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