I have a question in a tutorial and have no idea on what the answer is or to go about working it out. Anyone can point me in the right direction on how to solve this problem? Here it is: If 100 litres of pure carbon monoxide was dispersed into a room 10m x 10m x
10m would the atmosphere be OK to work for a whole day? Justify the answer. Appreciate any help. TIA
Step 1: Look up some regulatory websites for the allowable concentrations of CO for your locale. If this is serious use that information to find the "real" regs, and perhaps recommendations if you live in an area where the regulations are loose.
Step 2: Calculate your concentration (it'll probably be by volume, but maybe your local regs are in moles, or partial pressure, eh?).
Step 3: Compare the results of step 1 with those from step 2. Justifications should be obvious.
Answer: - screw any regulation limits. This is a pure safety question. The question implies an acceptable damage rate - it says nothing about the worker being ill, having other exposures, etc. A totally bad question that has only one use - to show that the idea of an acceptable level of exposure is dangerous in untrained hands.
1) Carbon monoxide has an affinity for hemoglobin 200 times that of oxygen. When both are present, the blood in contact will take the carbon monoxide and reject the oxygen, 8 litres monoxided blood to 40 ml oxygenated blood.
2) 10 litres in a cubic meter (1 ml=1cc)
3) 1000-10 m^3 of air and 10 m^3 of co in the room.= 99 to 1 ratio
4) 1 in 99 amount ratio times 200 to 1 affinity is not a valid equation to get a transfer rate, IMHO, because the cell with hemoglobin has a choice of molecules to choose from at the lung interface, and it is NOT a random one in a statistical string comimng down a tube. And it prefers monoxide by two orders of magnitude.
5) the monoxide is used up, i.e., removed, from the air by the workers present. 1 worker gets most of it, ten workers get 10 litres each, 100 workers get a litre each. When does it reach all-in-worker and zero in air?
verfiy the following numbers (biomedical engineering handbook works) The lung has a usual respiration capacity of about 1 litre? Given the amount of air in the lung and its contact surface with that air, it "contacts and transfers" about .05 litre? 5 respirations a minute, 300 an hour, the lung contacts 15 litres an hour. That should be 14 litres of monoxide transferred - using the statistical "one-in-line-in-a-pipe" method, a half liter is in the blood per hour - destroying that many cells worth. Using avagadros number times the weight of the half litre/mole weight of CO, you can find the number of cells killed per hour.