How is the exhaled air composed?
Experiment: Carbon dioxide is produced during combustion processes and breathing
|Table: Composition of dry inhaled and exhaled air (% by volume)|
|Inhaled air||Gases||Exhaled air|
Basis of calculation
We assume a boy aged 14-18 years with a basal metabolic rate of around 10,000 kJ / day. Body weight 65 kg. This is followed by a rough calculation exclusively for the basal metabolic rate without any particular physical exertion!
The following table shows the necessary food intake:
|Food per day and kg body weight||Total amount at 65 kg (g)|
|1.2 g fat||78|
|1.2 g protein||78|
|6 g of carbohydrates||390|
We define average structures or the average oxidation state of carbon in food, from which a CO2-Molecule is formed:
|fat||-CH2-||14 g / mol|
|Protein||H-C-NH2||29 g / mol|
|carbohydrate||H-C-OH||30 g / mol|
From this we calculate the "number of moles" of the average building blocks contained in daily food:
|Fat building block||78 g / 29 g / mol =||5.6 moles|
|Protein building block||78 g / 29 g / mol =||2.7 mol|
|Carbohydrate building block||390 g / 30 g / mol =||13.0 moles|
Each day it turns into CO2 educated:
(5.6 + 2.7 + 13) mol = 21.3 mol CO2.
Mass of CO formed2 = 21.3 mol x 44 g / mol = 937.2 g carbon dioxide.
A person alone breathes around 1 kg of CO per day with a basal metabolic rate2 out. At 25 C that is more than 500 liters of gas, i.e. half a cubic meter of pure CO2.
What is the annual amount of carbon dioxide exhaled by all 6 billion people?
1 kg CO2 · 6 · 109 People 365 days = 2.19 109 t CO2
People breathe around 2.19 gigatons of CO per year2 out.
This figure may seem huge, but compared to the sales figures for carbon dioxide on earth (170 gigatons) it is negligible. Incidentally, the technical anthropogenic emission is 7 gigatons. However, this apparently small deviation is sufficient, together with other greenhouse gases, to upset the equilibrium.
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