Have you ever wondered what makes up the air we are breathing every day? We all know that we need oxygen in order to survive, but is that all that is present in our atmosphere? In today’s primary science tuition lesson with Miracle Learning Centre, we will be discussing about the different components that makes up the mixture which is known as air.
Common gases found in air are oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide and other gases.
Taking up about one fifth of the air would be oxygen, the most commonly known gas that is essential for survival. All living thing need oxygen to survive, without it they would not be able to respire and might die.
Nitrogen is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas. It is nonflammable and it will not support combustion. Nitrogen is about 78 percent of the composition of air. Nitrogen is an unreactive gas. Nitrogen is important to the chemical industry. It is used to make fertilisers, nitric acid, nylon, dyes and explosives. To make these products, nitrogen must first be reacted with hydrogen to produce ammonia. This is done by the Haber process. During the haber process, nitrogen reacts with hydrogen to form ammonia. The conditions needed are iron catalyst, 450oC and 250atm.
Carbon dioxide is about 0.03 percent of the composition of air. Carbon dioxide and water is taken in during photosynthesis to produce oxygen and glucose. Carbon dioxide is also used in fire extinguishers to put out fire because it is denser than air. Carbon dioxide can blanket a fire, because of its denser than air. It prevents oxygen from getting to the fire. The burning material is deprived of the oxygen it needs to continue burning.
Humans use carbon dioxide in many different ways. The most familiar example is its use in soft drinks and beer, to make them fizzy. Carbon dioxide released by baking powder or yeast makes cake batter rise.
Carbon dioxide is also used in a technology called supercritical fluid extraction that is used to decaffeinate coffee. The solid form of carbon dioxide, commonly known as Dry Ice, is used in theatres to create stage fogs and make things like “magic potions” bubble. Dry ice is used to keep your birthday cakes cold before you reach home.
Joel, a student from the primary science tuition class in Miracle Learning Centre asked, “Then what about the plants & animals living under water? How are they going to get oxygen?”
The primary science tuition teacher at Miracle Learning Centre replied, “Do not worry, oxygen can actually be dissolved in water and even soil, so the plants are able to take up oxygen from their roots and the animals are able to take in oxygen via water.”
Other than Oxygen, the remaining four fifth of the air would be nitrogen and a small amount of carbon dioxide as well as other gases.
Now, after explaining the components of air, we have come to the end of our primary science tuition lesson at Miracle Learning Centre. Miracle Learning provides fun activities and worksheets for all primary science tuition students. We hope you have learnt something new today and we’ll see you at our next lesson!