if you are wondering how we can selectively breathe in oxygen and bring out carbon dioxide, this article will explain, in simple terms. the mechanism that occurs in this wonderful miracle of nature.
This is possible because the partial pressures exerted by the heterogeneous components of air, allow this essential process to occur.
Respiration occurs because the air is composed of just the right amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide molecules. The concentration of these gases is directly proportional to the gas partial pressures that they exert in the atmosphere.
One (1) atmospheric pressure is 760 mmHg and this is composed of the following:
1. * Nitrogen with 78 %
2. * Oxygen with 21 %
3. * Carbon dioxide with 0.04 %
4. * Argon with 0.9 %
5. * Neon, helium, methane, etc with 0.06 %
There is also water vapor in very small percentage.
These unique components allow life forms to exist like plants, animals and of course human beings.
The corresponding percentages of the different components of air allow respiration to occur between man and its environment. This is because of the process of diffusion. Diffusion is the movement of molecules from a higher concentration to a lower concentration.
In the case of the air components, since there is a smaller percentage of carbon dioxide in the air, this will allow the higher percentage of carbon dioxide inside the body to diffuse outside.
The carbon dioxide goes outside the body because the pressure of the gas is stronger inside.
On the other hand, the pressure exerted by the oxygen outside the body is stronger than the pressure inside, so the oxygen will diffuse from the outside into the inside of the body.
It is also amazing that the air that we breathe out is the air that is taken in by plants. We have a symbiotic relationship with plants. We exhale carbon dioxide and the plants take it in and they bring out oxygen, which we in turn, inhale from the air.
Every living thing is also composed of nitrogen and carbon which comes primarily from the air/atmosphere around us. These are the essential chemicals for a living being to come to existence.
Sometimes, when people become oblivious of their responsibility as caretaker of the environment, certain incidents happen that may temporarily affect the components of air.
One such example is when transportation vehicles do not care about the obnoxious and poisonous gas that they emit. This carbon monoxide emitted by these cars and buses pollutes the air and increases the concentration of carbon dioxide.
This will in turn decrease the available free oxygen for us to breathe, and more so, if there are lesser plants in the environment to take in the excess carbon dioxide.
The air and its components are sometimes dependent upon us. We must avoid producing more harmful components, like methane, carbon monoxide, sulfur and ammonia, by being taking care of our environment and being aware of our responsibilities as caretakers of nature.
Some of the things that we must know is that, we should not burn plastics because they produce dioxin which will become a toxic component of air; we should avoid cutting down trees because less trees denote less carbon dioxide, that could be converted into oxygen. Industrial companies should know how to dispose off their air pollutants properly to avoid permanent contamination of the air.
So next time you breathe that oxygen from the air, savor its pureness and know that we have the option to maintain the original, healthy components of our air; and that we have to prevent its adulteration!