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Carbon dioxide is a gas. There are several interesting facts we can discuss which tell us more about carbon dioxide:

1. Carbon dioxide is an odorless, colorless gas.

2. It does not burn or explode.

3. It is not poisonous.

4. It is heavier than air.

5. It is important to the life of plants. (Plants "inhale" carbon dioxide and "exhale" oxygen. Animals inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.)

6. Carbon dioxide is used to carbonate soft drinks.

We can produce carbon dioxide easily by several methods:

a. Pour about two inches of vinegar into a soda pop bottle, flask, or other container. Add two teaspoonfuls of baking soda. You will see that bubbles are produced.

When baking soda and vinegar are mixed, a chemical action occurs which sets free the gas called carbon dioxide. (Baking soda is the common name for a chemical compound called sodium bicarbonate. It consists of the elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and sodium. Vinegar consists of a mild acid called acetic acid.)

b. Cover the bottom of a soda pop bottle or other container with a layer of eggshell pieces or broken bits of lime-stone or marble. Fill the container about three-fourths full of vinegar. You will see bubbles (carbon dioxide) being produced.

c. Pick up a few small pieces of dry ice with gloves or tongs, and place them in water.

(Caution: Dry ice is extremely cold -- handle it with care.) Observe the bubbles (carbon dioxide) coming from it. (Note: The fog that is produced by dry ice is condensed moisture in the air, not carbon dioxide.)

d. Mix yeast with sugar and water.

The gas produced is carbon dioxide.

e. Drop an Alka Seltzer tablet in a glass of water to produce bubbles of carbon dioxide.

Does this mean that all bubbles are carbon dioxide?

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