Components of air
We all know that air surrounds us everywhere on this planet. One cannot imagine the existence of life without air. Ever wondered what is air made up of? Is it a mixture or a pure substance? In ancient times, the air was thought to be a pure substance but was later found to be a mixture of many gases. The composition of air is not constant and changes from place to place. For example: in polluted areas, since emissions of carbon dioxide are very high air over there contains the higher percentage of carbon dioxide. The main components of air are explained below:
Water vapor: We know that water present in oceans and rivers evaporates during summer and escapes into the air. Thus water vapor is one of the components of the air. It occupies very less percentage of earth’s atmosphere.
Oxygen: Have you ever tried to burn a candle in absence of air? If you would try you would notice that it doesn’t burn in absence of air. Air contains some matter which supports combustion. This substance is oxygen. Oxygen is one of the major components of air around us. Air comprises almost 21% oxygen.
Nitrogen: When you blow over a burning candle you notice that it extinguishes. This means air contains incombustible gases (gases which don’t support combustion) too. This is majorly due to the presence of nitrogen. Nitrogen occupies nearly 78% of earth’s atmosphere and is the most abundant gas on our planet.
Carbon dioxide: Carbon dioxide is mainly produced due to respiration by plants and animals or burning of fuel. It occupies 0.038% of the earth’s atmosphere. Its occupancy keeps on changing from one place to another in our atmosphere.
Smoke and dust particles: Smoke is present in our atmosphere due to the burning of fuels. Its occupancy varies from place to place. It is a mixture of gases and is often harmful. Apart from these, dust particles are also present in our atmosphere which we observe when we see a ray of light in a dark room. Smoke and dust particles occupy less than 1% of earth’s atmosphere.
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