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carbon dioxide n.
A colorless, odorless, incombustible gas formed during respiration, combustion, and organic decomposition and used in inert atmospheres, fire extinguishers, and aerosols.
|carbon dioxide |
A colorless, odorless gas that is present in the atmosphere and is formed when any fuel containing carbon is burned. It is breathed out of an animal's lungs during respiration, is produced by the decay of organic matter, and is used by plants in photosynthesis. Carbon dioxide is also used in refrigeration, fire extinguishers, and carbonated drinks. Chemical formula: CO2.
Note: Carbon dioxide is normally found as a gas that is breathed out by animals and absorbed by green plants. The plants, in turn, return oxygen to the atmosphere. (See carbon cycle and respiration.)
Note: Carbon dioxide is also given off in the burning of fossil fuels (see greenhouse effect).