Related topics: catalyst · carbon dioxide · hydrogen · fuel cell · fossil fuels

Monitoring air pollution from fires

The wildfires that have been devastating the Amazon rainforest have been international headline news over the last weeks. These fires are not only an environmental tragedy in terms of lost forest and biodiversity, but they ...

All comets in the solar system might come from the same place

All comets might share their place of birth, new research says. For the first time ever, astronomer Christian Eistrup applied chemical models to fourteen well-known comets, surprisingly finding a clear pattern. His publication ...

New process advances the field of carbon utilization

In an effort to develop sustainable solutions to humanity's energy needs, many scientists are studying carbon capture and utilization—the practice of using excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere or from point sources, ...

NASA's AIRS maps carbon monoxide from Brazil fires

New data from NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument, aboard the Aqua satellite, shows the movement high in the atmosphere of carbon monoxide associated with fires in the Amazon region of Brazil.

Tracking smoke from fires to improve air quality forecasting

NASA's DC-8 flying laboratory took to the skies on Monday to kick off a two-month investigation into the life cycles of smoke from fires in the United States. The goal is to better understand smoke impact on weather and climate ...

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Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide, with the chemical formula CO, is a colorless, odorless and tasteless, yet highly toxic gas. Its molecules consist of one carbon atom and one oxygen atom, connected by a covalent double bond and a dative covalent bond. It is the simplest oxocarbon, and can be viewed as the anhydride of formic acid (CH2O2).

Carbon monoxide is produced from the partial oxidation of carbon-containing compounds; it forms in preference to the more usual carbon dioxide (CO2) when there is a reduced availability of oxygen, such as when operating a stove or an internal combustion engine in an enclosed space. Carbon monoxide has significant fuel value, burning in air with a characteristic blue flame, producing carbon dioxide. Despite its serious toxicity, it was once widely used (as the main component of coal gas) for domestic lighting, cooking and heating, and in the production of nickel. Carbon monoxide still plays a major role in modern technology, in industrial processes such as iron smelting and as a precursor to myriad products.

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