Why Carbon Dioxide is the Greenhouse Gas Focus for COP25?

Why Carbon Dioxide is the Greenhouse Gas Focus for COP25?

The carbon is the major component of the Earth. Carbon dioxide contributes the most significant part of the emissions from fossil fuels in countries like China, the United States, etc. Hence, COP25 focuses on carbon dioxide.

a) The major greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (NH4), Ozone (O3), chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and nitrous oxide (N2O).

The chemical composition of carbon dioxide is composed of one carbon and two oxygen atoms. It is also called as dry ice in the solid-state.

The nitrous oxide is also known as dinitrogen oxide and dinitrogen monoxide. It is used in surgery and dentistry for its anesthetic and analgesic effects. It is also known as laughing gas.

The methane is composed of one atom of carbon and four atoms of hydrogen. It is considered as the simplest alkane and is the main constituent of natural gas.

The ozone is considered an explosive pale blue gas. The CFCs contain carbon, fluorine, and chlorine.

b) Methane is 84% more potent than carbon dioxide, i.e., upon release, it absorbs more heat from the sun. If the methane leaks during the production, the advantage of natural gas over other fuels can be wiped out. The resulting fuel obtained through the fracking process is cleaner and emits less carbon dioxide than coal and oil production.

c) The two concerns regarding fracking operations are air pollution and water contamination. These are caused due to the toxic chemicals used in the fracking process.

The gases released from the fracking harms the atmosphere and causes air pollution — for example, methane. The methane has a short lifespan compared to other gases in the atmosphere, but it harms the atmosphere.

The toxic chemical causes water contamination by mixing with the water used for different purposes.

d) The carbon dioxide can be captured and separated from the flue gases that result from the combustion of fossil fuels. The separation can be carried out using technologies such as chemical looping, membrane gas separation, absorption, and adsorption. The CO2 is captured from large point sources such as cement factories, biomass power plants, or industrial sources.

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