Carbon dioxide is typically one of the most important gases in the atmosphere. This substance is a gas at standard room temperatures and pressure.

It forms, precisely 0.03% of the gases in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is a compound since it is made of more than one type of atom.

It is formed when two oxygen atoms combine chemically with one carbon atom. The importance of this gas cannot be overemphasized.

It is necessary for everyday life since after being exhaled by animals, plants use it for photosynthesis. This article will give you detailed information and facts about Carbon dioxide.

Why Carbon Dioxide isn’t an element?

An element is defined as a pure substance that cannot be broken down by any physical or chemical means.

It is fair enough to say an element is an atom. An element is also defined by the number of protons it possesses.

However, the number of neutrons and electrons varies and where the neutrons vary, the element is an isotope. Examples of elements are Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, and more.

Therefore, Carbon dioxide is not an element since it is not a pure substance; it has both carbon and oxygen. Additionally, carbon dioxide can be broken down by chemical means to form Carbon and Oxygen as single entities/ elements.

Why Carbon Dioxide is a compound?

As mentioned earlier, Carbon dioxide is a compound, since it is made up of two separate atoms – Carbon and Oxygen.

In science, a compound is defined as a substance that is formed when two or more different atoms/elements have been chemically joined.

In our case Carbon dioxide is a compound since carbon and oxygen are two different elements that have been joined together by covalent bonds- a type of chemical bonding.

Carbon dioxide falls under the compound category since it can only be separated by chemical means to form both oxygen and carbon atoms.

Carbon dioxide has been chemically joined by covalent bonds. These bonds are defined as the mutual sharing of one or more pairs of electrons by two or more atoms to form a compound. Covalent bonds are the strongest when it comes to bonding.

Therefore, to break free carbon dioxide compounds very high temperatures of about 700 degrees Celsius or more need to be reached.

Why Carbon Dioxide isn’t a mixture?

Carbon dioxide is chemically combined. On the other hand, a mixture is made of two or more substances that have been combined but not chemically.

A mixture can be separated by physical means such as filtration or decantation, while a compound cannot.

An example of a mixture is water and sand, flour and gravel, water and paraffin, and more. All these can be separated by either sieving, decanting, or filtering, thus regarded as mixtures.

What are the applications of Carbon Dioxide?

Carbon dioxide has numerous uses that range from industrial uses to agricultural uses, and more. Below are some applications of Carbon dioxide:


Plants need carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. This gas can be emitted from certain products and best help plants grow.

An example of such a product is dry ice. Carbon dioxide helps in the development of grains and vegetables in a greenhouse or during the winter season, to name but a few uses.


Carbon dioxide is in the production of soda water and soft drinks. Bottled and kegged beer, wine, and spirits that are carbonated need carbon dioxide as a preservative. Carbon dioxide is also used as a solvent in the production of coffee.


Carbon dioxide is a cosmetic used in products such as shampoos, lotions, deodorants, and more. This compound is used in these products because it acts as an oxidizing agent.

The odor and flavor of the product are affected by the oxygen-carbon dioxide balance which is determined by the amount of carbon dioxide in a product.


Carbon dioxide is a component of synthetic resin materials. It is used as a component of fiberglass-reinforced plastics and in the production of concrete.

Fire extinguisher

Carbon dioxide is used in fire extinguishers. Since the gas is heavier than oxygen, it displaces oxygen and extinguishes fire by stopping the combustion process.


Refrigerant gases, both a mixture and a single agent, are common refrigerants. Carbon dioxide is usually used as refrigerant gas in home appliances.


Carbon dioxide is neither an element nor a mixture, it is a compound. This gas is made up of two different elements- carbon and oxygen.

Both atoms are chemically joined by covalent bonds thus making it a difficult compound to separate due to the large amounts of energy needed to separate them.

The gas has numerous applications as discussed above.

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