By Krista West
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Extra resources for Carbon Chemistry
Just as carbon atoms readily form bonds with other atoms, they readily participate in chemical reactions. Again, it is the chemistry of carbon compounds that makes them important participants in chemical reactions. TYPES OF CHEMICAL REACTIONS Three common types of chemical reactions are substitution reactions, elimination reactions, and addition reactions. ind32 32 10/21/08 2:33:39 PM Carbon Compound Chemistry 33 Understanding how functional groups behave in substitution and elimination reactions is key to understanding carbon chemistry.
These warm surface waters naturally release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. CARBON IN THE OCEANS The oceans on Earth contain a lot of the planet’s carbon—about 39,000 Gt. The majority of this carbon exists as inorganic carbon atoms, which is carbon that does not come from living things. ind47 47 10/21/08 2:33:42 PM 48 CARBON CHEMISTRY FIRE Fire is one of the processes that moves carbon around Earth. Often it spreads undesirable carbon-based air pollution. Smoke is made mostly of tiny particles of carbon.
How Carbon Enters and Exits Living Things Living organisms move carbon atoms by eating, breathing, and reproducing—in other words, simply by being alive. Through these life processes, carbon enters a living thing in one form and exits in another form. When humans eat, for example, carbon enters the body. Fruit, vegetables, and meat are made mostly of carbon. These foods are broken down to release energy that the body needs. They also supply needed nutrients. The food material that is not incorporated into the cells of the body exits the body as wastes, which include exhaled carbon dioxide.
Carbon Chemistry by Krista West