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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 15 minutes in an emergency situation.

I have to write a 500 word essay on: “what are the important chemical considerations in designing such a unit?”

What components should I put into the essay?

  • chemistry -

    Some considerations might be
    How easy is it to obtain KO2?
    How do you dispose of the K2CO3?
    What environmental factors emerge from the first two.
    Is there a danger of the workers breathing "too much" oxygen?
    How dangerous is the KO2 before the unit is activated (flash fires, spontaneous reaction to produce O2, and that kind of thing). This should get you started.

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