Chemistry & Chemical Reactivity

9th Edition
John C. Kotz + 3 others
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781133949640



Chemistry & Chemical Reactivity

9th Edition
John C. Kotz + 3 others
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781133949640
Chapter 20.6, Problem 1RC
Textbook Problem

Which of the species listed below is not a greenhouse gas?

  1. (a) H2O
  2. (b) CO2
  3. (c) CH4
  4. (d) O2

Interpretation Introduction

Interpretation: It should be determined for the following species listed is not a greenhouse gas.

Concept introduction:

Atmospheric air contains various gases such as nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, argon etc. The most abundant of them all is nitrogen. Atmospheric air also contain trace amount of water vapor, neon, helium…

Greenhouse Effect: When the solar radiation reaches the earth’s atmosphere, some of the radiations get reflected and some of the radiations are absorbed by earth’s surface. This energy is converted into heat and radiate back towards space. Some of these are trapped by green-house gases when going up to the atmosphere and this will heat up the earth’s atmosphere.

Greenhouse Gases:

  • CO2
  • CH4
  • N2O
  • H2O
  • HCl

The most important green-house gas is water vapor.

Explanation of Solution

Reason for correct option

The three most abundant gases are:

Nitrogen, oxygen and argon.

None of them are green-house gases.

Atmosphere contains various gases with different compositions. The most abundant gas in the atmosphere is nitrogen. The atmosphere contains about 78.08% nitrogen. The next major gas present in atmosphere is oxygen. It is present about 20.94% of atmospheric gases. The third abundant gas present in atmosphere is argon which is about 0.0314% .

Green-house effect is an important phenomenon to keep the earth warm. Earth’s surface absorbs energy from sun and release radiation like infrared. These radiations are absorbed by gases called as green-house gases and re-emit to the atmosphere. This will result in the heating of atmosphere.

The factor which decide whether a gas can act as green-house gas or not is its composition.

Atoms which did not have chemical bonds cannot interact with infrared. Therefore single atom gases cannot act as green-house gases. The diatomic molecules having bond between different atoms or those having three or more atoms also can act as green-house gases.

The molecules which did not absorb infrared include homo nuclear diatomic molecules. The gases like N2andO2 are present about 99.9% in the atmosphere and they cannot act as green-house gases.

N2andO2 are homo nuclear diatomic molecule and cannot absorbs infrared radiation

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Chapter 20 Solutions

Chemistry & Chemical Reactivity
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