AS THE VERSATILE element which forms the basis for all organic chemistry, carbon has two important inorganic oxides.
Carbon dioxide is perhaps the more renowned of the two, while the other, carbon monoxide, only ever seems to be in the news when it has killed someone – which is surprisingly often for a small molecule.
For the common man, carbon monoxide (CO) is synonymous with harmful effects, but for our industry it is a vital gas which finds application in a score of areas.
CO is a colourless, odourless and tasteless, yet highly toxic gas, produced from the partial oxidation of carbon containing compounds, notably in internal-combustion engines.
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