Do cars emit carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide?
Carbon monoxide (CO). This odorless, colorless, and poisonous gas is formed by the combustion of fossil fuels such as gasoline and is emitted primarily from cars and trucks. When inhaled, CO blocks oxygen from the brain, heart, and other vital organs.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, toxic gas that has the molecular formula CO. The molecule consists of a carbon atom that is triply bonded to an oxygen atom. The linear molecule consists of a carbon atom that is doubly bonded to two oxygen atoms, O=C=O.
- The carbon-oxygen bond in carbon monoxide (CO) is much stronger than that in the carbon dioxide (CO2) molecule. The carbon-oxygen triple bond in CO is also stronger than the nitrogen-nitrogen triple bond in the N2 molecule. In fact, the CO molecule has the strongest bond among all simple diatomic molecules.
- Oxygen makes up about 21% of the air we breathe. It can be produced by photosynthesis using sunlight, water and Carbon Dioxide through a number of processes for a different post. The body holds on to the energy and we breathe out the CO2 and H2O. CO2 is metabolised by photosynthesis to produce oxygen.
- CO - carbon monoxide and CO2 - carbon dioxide are often confused. The names sound the same, they both are colorless and odorless gases, and at high concentrations, both can be deadly. The difference is that CO2 is a common, naturally occurring gas required for all plant and animal life. CO is not common.
Updated: 2nd October 2019