10 Uses of Carbon Dioxide in Life and Industry

Carbon dioxide, a natural gas in the air, is also widely generated as automobile and industrial exhaust, causing global warming and climate change. Interestingly, there are many uses of CO2 as

  1. Carbinogen
  2. Fire extinguisher
  3. Enhanced oil recovery (EOR)
  4. Ph Balance water treatment
  5. As a contrast agent for angiography
  6. As a fizzling agent for cold beverages
  7. Welding shielding gas
  8. In industrial manufacturing.
  9. Dry Ice and Preservation
  10. Plastic production

1. As Carbinogen

Patient giving respiratory support with Carbondioxide and Oxygen combination.

Carbinogen is a mixture of 5% medical CO2 in medical oxygen.

It is used to stimulate respiration in chronic respiratory disease or apnoea.

2. In Fire extinguisher

CO2 gas is a non-inflammable fire extinguisher, displacing the flame’s oxygen.

Thus, it extinguishes flame quickly without leaving any residue behind.

It is specifically suited for electrical and flammable liquid fires.

3. Enhanced oil recovery (EOR)

EOR is a technique that enhances the amount of oil that can be extracted from the field.

When the crude oil cannot be retrieved through the primary recovery technique from the well, EOR is used.

For this EOR, natural gases like CO2 and nitrogen help minimize the viscosity and improve oil flow from the wells.

As per the US Department of Energy, gas injection accounts for 60 percent of EOR production.

4. PH Balance water treatment

Carbon dioxide gas is used to adjust water pH in water treatment plants.

Carbonic acid is formed when CO2 dissolves in water; this acid neutralizes alkaline water. This neutralized water is safe for consumption and industrial use.

5. As a contrast agent for angiography

Carbon dioxide gas is an excellent negative contrast agent for angiography and other techniques like the distention media for laparoscopy.

For angiography, it is used as an alternative to conventional iodinated agents.

It is non-toxic, insoluble in blood, and inexpensive to use.

6. Cold beverages as a fizzling agent

Fizz bubbles in soda due to CO2

Carbon dioxide was first used in 1767 for carbonated water by Joseph Priestley.

It causes effervescence in the drink and gives a sparkling appearance of the aqueous solution due to gas escape.

7. Welding shielding gas

CO2 is commonly used as a shielding gas during metal welding.

This gas protects the metals from defects that can be caused due to other atmospheric gases.

8. In industrial manufacturing.

CO2 is used in the industry to manufacture methanol and urea. It is also used in making molds and in building materials.

9. Preservation and dry ice

  • CO2 is also used for packaged food preservation. It slows the rate of deterioration by minimizing the oxygen content in the packet.
  • Thus, it extends the product’s shelf life and maintains its nutritional value.

Dry Ice is a solid carbon dioxide formed at  -109.2 °F (-78.5 °C).

  • It is used for food preservation, scientific research, and industry.
  • It is also used to store organs for medical transplantation.

10. Plastic production:

Scientists from Rutgers University have reported the ability to produce plastic from CO2.

Water and CO2 are combined with electricity in the presence of catalysts to generate plastic for this.


carbondioxide uses

Besides, CO2 is essential for photosynthesis, through which plants derive nutrition.


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