Problem: A particular kind of emergency breathing apparatus-often placed in mines, caves, or other places where oxygen might become depleted or where the air might become poisoned-works via the following chemical reaction:4KO2(s) + 2CO2(g) → 2K2CO3(s) + 3O2(g)Notice that the reaction produces O2, which can be breathed, and absorbs CO2, a product of respiration. Suppose you work for a company interested in producing a self-rescue breathing apparatus (based on the above reaction) which would allow the user to survive for 13 minutes in an emergency situation.Estimate how much KO2 would be required for the apparatus. (Find any necessary additional information. Assume that normal air is 20% oxygen and human breathing rate is about 8 Lair/min. Assume that 4% of the air would need to be replenished with oxygen.)

🤓 Based on our data, we think this question is relevant for Professor Fatima's class at UWATERLOO.

FREE Expert Solution

We are asked to estimate how much KO2 would be required for the apparatus.


4KO2(s) + 2CO2(g) → 2K2CO3(s) + 3O2(g)


Step 1. Calculate the volume of oxygen to be replenished

0.04×0.20×8 L air1 min×13 min

= 0.832 L oxygen


Step 2. Calculate moles O2

PV=nRTn = PVRTn = (1 atm)(0.832 L)(0.08206  L- atmmol-K)(298.15 K)

n = 0.034 mol O2


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Problem Details

A particular kind of emergency breathing apparatus-often placed in mines, caves, or other places where oxygen might become depleted or where the air might become poisoned-works via the following chemical reaction:


4KO2(s) + 2CO2(g) → 2K2CO3(s) + 3O2(g)


Notice that the reaction produces O2, which can be breathed, and absorbs CO2, a product of respiration. Suppose you work for a company interested in producing a self-rescue breathing apparatus (based on the above reaction) which would allow the user to survive for 13 minutes in an emergency situation.

Estimate how much KO2 would be required for the apparatus. (Find any necessary additional information. Assume that normal air is 20% oxygen and human breathing rate is about 8 Lair/min. Assume that 4% of the air would need to be replenished with oxygen.)

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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Stoichiometry concept. You can view video lessons to learn Stoichiometry. Or if you need more Stoichiometry practice, you can also practice Stoichiometry practice problems.

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Fatima's class at UWATERLOO.