Problem: The world burns approximately 3.7 x 1012 kg of fossil fuel per year.By what percentage does the concentration increase each year due to fossil fuel combustion? Approximate the average properties of the entire atmosphere by assuming that the atmosphere extends from sea level to 15 km and that it has an average pressure of 381 torr and average temperature of 275 K. Assume Earth is a perfect sphere with a radius of 6371 km.

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We shall assume that fossil fuel combustion involves the combustion of octane:

2C8H18(l) + 25O2(g) → 16CO2(g) + 18H2O(g)

Step 1. Determine the mass of CO2 produced.

3.7×1012kg C8H18(103 g1 kg)(1 mol C8H18114.23 g C8H18)(16 mol CO22 mol C8H18)(44.01 g CO21 mol CO2)=1.14×1016 g CO2

Step 2. Determine the volume of the atmosphere.

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Problem Details

The world burns approximately 3.7 x 1012 kg of fossil fuel per year.

By what percentage does the concentration increase each year due to fossil fuel combustion? Approximate the average properties of the entire atmosphere by assuming that the atmosphere extends from sea level to 15 km and that it has an average pressure of 381 torr and average temperature of 275 K. Assume Earth is a perfect sphere with a radius of 6371 km.

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