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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A study of the CO2-C-CO equilibrium Champion, William


A method is described for determining whether or not the reaction represented by the equation- 2CO ⇄ CO₂ + C is a true equilibrium reaction. The procedure consists of placing radioactive carbon dioxide over charcoal at an elevated temperature. When equilibrium is reached, the gas present is comprised chiefly of carbon monoxide. The charcoal was tested for radioactivity after different intervals of time, once the equilibrium had been reached. It was found that the charcoal had picked up a considerable amount of radioactivity. The activity, however, remained constant even after a prolonged period of heating at the equilibrium pressure. If carbon monoxide was depositing carbon on to the charcoal surface, the activity of the sample should have increased with time. The absence of any increase indicated that the equilibrium reaction was proceeding by means of some other mechanism, which very probably involved the surface oxides on the charcoal.

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