You are a reporter for the Environmental News Network
(ENN). You are investigating ways of reducing carbon dioxide emissions and
Greenhouse Gases. Your task is to first of all research sources of
Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) and then plausible methods of reducing these
You will also perform an experiment related to one method
of reducing carbon dioxide levels. Some researchers have proposed that carbon dioxide should be pumped into the deep waters of the Norwegian Sea. By investigating the
solubility of carbon dioxide at different temperatures, you will be able
to make an informed decision about using this method to lower atmospheric
You are required to write an article for ENN that could be
published on their web site. This article should include:
- a summary of the all GHGS and their sources, with special
consideration given to the role automobiles in GHG production
- a description of methods currently in place or being suggested as
ways of reducing emissions (ex. pumping CO2 into the ocean,
testing automobile emissions etc.)
- a summary and the results of an experiment on carbon dioxide
- a discussion regarding the practicality of the different methods
used to reduce GHGs and your recommendations of the best method
Part A: Research
1. Use a variety of resources to research all GHGS and
their sources, with special consideration given to the role automobiles in
2. Use a variety of resources to describe the methods
currently in place or being suggested as ways of reducing emissions. A
description of the technologies involved should also be included.
3. Summarize your results in an appropriate format.
Part B: Testing and Inquiry
[Lab] THE SOLUBILITIES OF CARBON DIOXIDE IN WATER AT
Students will measure the amount of carbon dioxide in
samples of Seltzer or Soda water in order to determine a trend in the
solubility of the carbon dioxide as a function of temperature. They will
relate their results to suggested methods of GHG reduction such as dumping
CO2 in oceans.
Their measurements could also be used to determine the
volume of CO2 in Seltzer water or as the basis for a discussion
about the concept of buoyancy and its importance when massing objects
whose masses are small compared to their volumes.
Carbonated beverages are bottled under a carbon dioxide
pressure slightly greater than standard pressure. As a result, when the
bottles are opened to the air, the partial pressure of CO2
above the solution is decreased and CO2 bubbles out of the
solution. The bottles should be cold when opened because CO2 is
most soluble at low temperatures and by opening the bottles prior to doing
the experiment, the dissolved CO2 is allowed to reach
equilibrium with the lower pressure of CO2 in the air. When
carbon dioxide dissolves in water, it forms an acidic solution, as shown
by the following equation, which can be neutralized by the addition of
CO2 (aq) + H2O (l) H+(aq)
The results obtained by this procedure are will only
indicate a trend in the solubility of the carbon dioxide as a function of
temperature and will not agree with literature values for the solubility
of carbon dioxide which are usually measured at higher partial pressures
of the gas.
2.0 M NaOH solution
ice bath and warm water
bath - large enough to hold a 1-L beaker
The NaOH solution is caustic; avoid contact with skin.
Goggles must be worn throughout the experiment.
Sample preparation by teacher:
Prior to lab session, prepare samples by placing unopened
bottles of Soda or Seltzer water in an ice-water bath until samples are at
temperature of bath. About 0.5 hour before students are to begin the
experiment, open the necessary number of bottles of Seltzer water and mix
their contents. Divide this mixture among three 1-L beakers. Place one
beaker in the ice-water bath, allow one beaker of Seltzer to stand at room
temperature and place the other in a warm water bath.
Measure out 50 mL of Seltzer water and transfer it to
an Erlenmeyer flask. Add 3 drops phenolphthalein solution and swirl
gently for one minute to remove any remaining mechanically trapped
Use correct techniques to fill a burette with 2.0 M
NaOH solution. Titrate with prepared Seltzer water until the pink
phenolphthalein color persists for 30 seconds. Record the volume of
NaOH solution used. Repeat titration two more times, if time permits.
Repeat steps 1 and 2 using samples at different
When finished, rinse burette with dilute acid before
cleaning. All samples may be flushed down the drain.
- Present all observations in a table format.
- Plot a graph of volume of NaOH solution required for neutralization
- Calculate the volume of carbon dioxide in your Seltzer water taking
into account experimental conditions
Conclusion and Evaluation
Draw a conclusion about how the solubility of carbon
dioxide varies with temperature and describe any sources of error..
Using your experimental and research results, evaluate the
plausibility and practicality of dumping CO2 into the ocean as
a method of reducing atmospheric CO2. Also consider other
factors that would effect its solubility besides temperature.
Note: This activity is based on a lab submitted by Eva Lou
Apel, Michael Bannon, Joseph Baron, John Brodemus, and Elna Clevenger to
the 1986 Woodrow Wilson Leadership Program in Chemistry
Part C: Analyze and Reflect
In the research part of this activity, you investigated
various GHGs, their sources and methods of reduction. Use your research
and the results from your experiment to write a report analyzing what is
currently being done to reduce GHGs and make recommendations as to what
should be done by governments, industries, and individuals to reduce GHGs.
Part D: Communicate
Prepare an article summarizing your findings for the ENN
web site. Your article should include:
- an introduction
- a summary recorded in an appropriate format of: all GHGS and their
sources, including automobiles; the methods currently in place or
being suggested as ways of reducing emissions; and a description of
the technologies involved.
- a summary of your experimental procedure, results and analysis
- an analysis of what is currently being done to reduce GHGs and
recommendations as to what should be done by governments, industries,
and individuals to reduce GHGs.
- graphics or photos to complement the text
- a conclusion that considers the future outlook for the success of
the Kyoto Protocol and reduction of GHGs
- all references used listed in APA style