Carbon Dioxide is a hot topic at the moment and has been for some time now. It is the most well-known greenhouse gas, and statements like “Carbon-neutral” and “Net-zero carbon emissions” are gaining popularity with companies and governments around the world.
One of the reasons Carbon Dioxide is so infamous is because it is so common, it comes out of our cars, our factories, and ourselves.
This makes it a natural enemy, as real change can be seen and felt.
46% of carbon dioxide emissions come from the coal industry, and it is important that people can link coal to climate change.


In this article, I will prove that burning coal adds carbon dioxide to the atmosphere using carbon dioxide indicator in red form.
I will burn coal in a small bowl and connect it to a funnel and a water pump that sucks the air into a test tube with carbon dioxide indicator in red form, and a change to orange, will prove the carbon dioxide is produced.

Background Info (Theory):

When coal undergoes a combustion reaction, the carbon in the coal combines with the oxygen in the air and forms carbon dioxide, which is then added to the atmosphere.
A bicarbonate indicator is actually a pH indicator that is very sensitive.
When carbon dioxide is added and dissolved in the indicator which forms carbonic acid, which is a very weak acid, but the bicarbonate indicator is sensitive enough to undergo a color change from dark red to orange if carbon dioxide is added.

The Procedure:

Step 1 (Setting Up):

The first step was to find a way to get the carbon dioxide from the coal into the indicator, as carbon dioxide is a gas and would just go into the indicator without force.
So I connected a funnel and a tube above the coal and then connected a water pump to it, which would create a lower pressure at the end of the tube which would pull the carbon dioxide into the indicator.
For burning the coal, I put it in a small heat-resistant bowl, which is elevated above the table on a stand.

Step 2 (Combustion):

When everything is set up, it’s time to start the demonstration.
First I put the coal in the heat-resistant bowl and set it on fire, and let it start to produce flames.
Then I turn on the water pump, which sucks the carbon dioxide into the indicator.

Result and Conclusion:

The color of the carbon dioxide indicator before the combustion of the coal:

The color of the carbon dioxide indicator after the combustion of the coal after one minute:

In conclusion, it is obvious that even after a short amount of time, a small bowl of coal can produce enough carbon dioxide for it to be indicated.
It is important to understand the connection between the coal industry and the increasing level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as can be seen here.
This shows that burning coal adds carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.


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