CO2 ( Carbon Dioxide )
Carbon dioxide is one end-product of the complete combustion of a carbon hydrogen based fuel - a hydrocarbon. (The other end-product is water). One molecule of carbon dioxide contains one atom of carbon and two atoms of oxygen, it's chemical symbol is C02. Measured in percent of the total sample concentration of the exhaust gases. C02 is the end-product of complete combustion of a hydrocarbon based fuels. Carbon dioxide is a by-product of efficient and complete combustion. Near perfect
combustion will result in carbon dioxide levels which approach the theoretical maximum of 15.5%. Carbon dioxide levels are effected by air/fuel ratio, spark timing, and any other factors which effect combustion efficiency.
Represents how well the air/fuel mixture is burned in the engine ( efficiency ). This gas gives a direct indication of combustion efficiency. It is generally 1-2% higher at 2500 RPM than at idle. This is due to improved gas flow resulting in better combustion efficiency. Maximum is around 16%. Trees and plants convert CO2 in to Oxygen. Preserve them!
1) High carbon dioxide (CO2) readings indicate a nearly ideal air-fuel ratio and efficient combustion. We want this gas (and ONLY this one) as High as it can get!
2) Low carbon dioxide (CO2) readings indicate a fuel mixture either too rich or too lean, exhaust system leaks, sample dilution or in general - bad combustion process.
CO2 is chemically very stable and does not easily react with other substances. It is not poisonous and is produced by every animal which breathes (also by fish!). Oxygen is inhaled and carbon dioxide exhaled, at a concentration of about 5%. It is absorbed by all green plants in a process called "photo-synthesis", which only happens in daylight and which also releases oxygen into the atmosphere. Most of the "bulk" of a plant or a tree is obtained from atmospheric C02
How does CO2 contribute to "Global Warming Effect"?
It reduces the loss of heat by radiation through the earth's atmosphere, like a blanket keeps you warm in bed. An increase in the concentration of C02 improves the insulation qualities of the atmosphere. There is a balance between C02 "producers" (mostly us) and "consumers" (plants, trees, crops etc.). The rate at which C02 is being produced exceeds the rate at which it is being consumed, by a large factor. Any process which burns oil, coal, wood, petroleum, diesel fuel, paraffin or any other hydrocarbon fuel produces CO2. In proportion, the contribution of automotive sources is less than half the contribution of industrial and domestic sources. The contribution of people and animals is relatively unimportant. It is not poisonous or harmful to health but unless steps are taken to improve the balance between "producers" and "consumers" the atmospheric concentration will slowly increase, improving it's heat insulation qualities.
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