Chemical Reactions

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Chemistry Essay: Impact of the use of chemical reactions on the efficiency of a car In this essay I will explore two chemical reactions and how they impact the efficiency of a car. I have chosen to talk about airbags, and nitrous oxide. I will explain how they work, how they enhance a car and talk about how the implication of science has solved everyday problems of a car. Lastly I will talk about what affect these chemical reactions have on the environment. Nitrous oxide is a molecule made through chemical bonding. It is made when two nitrogen atoms are bonded to an oxygen atom; YouTube, (2009). And it has the formula N2O. Nitrous oxide is a non flammable and colorless gas. It is also sometimes called NOS or just nitrous; Wikipedia, (2015).…show more content…
Sodium azide (NaN3) decomposes at 300oC which produces sodium (Na) and nitrogen gas (N2). The nitrogen that is generated then fills the airbag. The purpose of the KNO3 and SiO2 is to remove the sodium (N2) which is highly explosive and dangerous metao, by converting it to a harmless material. Secondly, the sodium reacts with potassium nitrate (KNO3) to produce potassium oxide (K2O), sodium oxide (Na2O), and additional nitrogen gas. The N2 generated in this second reaction also fills the airbag, and the metal oxides react with silicon dioxide (SiO2) in a final reaction to produce silicate glass, which is harmless and stable; Chemistry.wustl.edu, (2000). The nitrogen gas inflates the bag at around…show more content…
Well chemicals in both of these reactions can be extremely harmful and dangerous. Firstly, nitrous oxide is actually a greenhouse gas meaning it contributes to the cause of global warming and the depletion of the ozone layer. When the chemical is used in cars, sometimes the chemical can escape the engine or the tank causing it to go into our atmosphere. Nitrous oxide is over 300 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2. and accounts for 5% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from human activities and 6.3% in the UK; The Conversation, (2015) and Www3.epa.gov, (2015). Secondly, sodium azide a chemical found in airbags, is a highly toxic and poisonous compound. The presence of the compound is a threat to humans and the environment. Only a few grams could kill a person if ingested. Also sodium azide can kill and degrade the seeds of many plants as well as sterilizing soil, killing soil bacteria and fungi; Isaacs, T and Sdearthtimes.com,

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