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Short communication

, Volume: 16( 3) DOI: 10.37532/tses.2020.16(3).114

Effect of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide on Coronavirus

Ashesh Garai
Department of Chemistry
Rammohan College

Received: May 19, 2020; Accepted: May 30, 2020; Published: June 05, 2020

Citation: Garai A. Effect of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide on Coronavirus. Indian J Environ Sci. 2020;16(3):114.


Lockdown (maintaining the social distance) is the only way to defeat coronavirus (COVID-19) from its infection. A person can be infected by an infected person’s small droplets inhalation whether the person is in indoor or outdoor. The viral content in the air can travel from one meter to tens of meter depend on density and viscosity of air and density of coronavirus. Till now nobody explain its mechanism thus it is necessary to understand and incorporation of floating and spreading mechanism of coronavirus in social distancing. The role of CO2 to understand the origin of coronavirus, seasonal effect on coronavirus, COVID-19 infected and death persons of different countries, mechanism of floating, spreading of coronavirus in air and mechanism of infecting living objects in earth environment by coronavirus have been discussed.


Corona virus; COVID-19; CO2; Density; Fluidity; Atmospheric; Chemistry

Main Text

It is assumed that carbon dioxide (CO2) has a vital role for coronavirus occurrence and increase its population i.e. reproductivity like an algae [1]. Thus it is essential to know which country emits how much CO2 in global system. According to International Energy Agency (IEA) [2] and World Economic Forum [3] that China, USA, EU-28, India, Russia, Japan and others countries have CO2 emission contribution 30%, 15%, 9%, 7%, 5%, 4% and 30% respectively. Thus in reality the ratio of infected people and death rate will be according to the above ratio provided that the all people of different countries have same physiological variable and the equation (CO2 emission vs. infected people or death) is linear. By analyzing world meter data [4] till now it is found that the results deviates from equation. This may be due to different reasons i) all the countries are not working in the same way (counting the infected people and death in different way) ii) the plot of CO2 emission vs. infected people or death is not linear iii) the physiological condition of people in different countries are different iv) soil pH of that country (the country of basic soil and acidic soil has different affection by coronavirus) and finally v) we do not have ultimate report (the values are changing day by day). But it is clear that higher CO2 emitted country affected more than less CO2 emitted country.

The composition of air contain nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, water vapour etc. and their concentration (volume%) strongly varies locally [5]. Air composition, temperature, and atmospheric pressure of different countries varies with human activity, altitude etc. The density of air is about 1.28 g/L and the density (at STP) of its component namely nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide are 1.25 g/L, 1.43 g/L and 1.96 g/L respectively [6]. As CO2 has higher density than air thus when CO2 concentration in the air increase, air density also increases. The viscosity of air is 1.8 Pa·s × 10-5 Pa·s at 150°C and it changes with temperature. With increasing temperature viscosity of air increases and fluidity (reverse of viscosity) decreases. Viscosity of nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide are 1.72 Pa·s × 10-5 Pa·s, 1.99 Pa·s × 10-5 Pa·s and 1.46 Pa·s × 10-5 Pa·s respectively at 150°C. Now depending on the density of air, viral droplets will float in the air up to certain height and depending on the fluidity of air, viral droplets will travel up to a certain distance (SCHEME 1). The mass of big droplet is higher so they fall moving up to certain distance and smaller droplets can stay in the higher layer of air. SCHEME 1, explains the effect of carbon dioxide concentration present in the air on viral droplets floating and spreading. As the concentration of CO2 increases in the air, the density of air increases helps viral droplets floating to a relatively high altitude for longer time. Increase of CO2 concentration in air increase the air fluidity which helps the viral droplets to spread more. The concentration of CO2 in air tunes the viral droplets floating and spreading. CO2 concentration varies in different season thus season has effect on coronavirus spreading.


Scheme 1. Schematic representation of viral droplets flow in (a) relatively higher concentration of carbon dioxide present in the air and; (b) Relatively lower concentration of carbon dioxide present in the air indicating that at higher concentration of CO2 the viral droplets travel longer distance.

The assumption also explains why the decease is highly infectious. As per the assumption concentration of CO2 is the driving factor for coronavirus infection. For its survival and reproduction CO2 needed and hence coronavirus moves in a direction where there is more CO2 and also stayed where it can consume adequate amount of CO2. So there must be a sensor in the coronavirus which sense the concentration of CO2 irrespective of its occurrence. The concentration of CO2 in air and in human lungs is 0.04% and 4%-5% by volume respectively. When coronavirus exist in air (CO2 concentration 0.04% by volume) it senses the human lungs where the CO2 concentration is 100 times more and moved that direction. SCHEME 2, explains the infectious nature of coronavirus by showing the pathway of attacking. WHO mention that after attack by coronavirus, the person will show symptom in 7 days-10 days. This can be explain as the virus enter into human it follow respiratory path (because of lungs CO 2 concentration) and finally reach lungs where it increase its population. When the concentration of virus (viral loading) experience a competition for CO2 consumption, few virus will come out from lungs (cough started) to atmosphere and ready to attack. For this procedure it will take 7-10 days.


Scheme 2. Schematic representation of the coronavirus infection spreading pathway from an infected person to a healthy person (assuming that all the persons standing within the CO2 sensing ability of the. Coronavirus).

It can explain who is more prone to infected in crowd. It is already discussed that coronavirus has a sensor for CO2 concentration measurement. In a crowd whose (may be man, woman, high blood pressure patient, high blood sugar patient, animal, birds and any living object) lungs exhale more CO2 (physiology use term is less immune person) virus will attack that person (assuming that all the persons standing within the sensing range of coronavirus). As concentration of CO2 in lungs is a relative quantity means no one is immune. Let’s take an example in a crowd there are 4 peoples whose CO2 concentration in lungs are 4.5 volume%, 4.1 volume%, 4.2 volume% and 4.3 volume%. Whatever will be the body immunity, coronavirus will attack all the people in the order of lungs CO2 concentration i.e. 4.5 volume%, 4.3 volume%, 4.2 volume% and 4.1 volume% respectively when they exposed in viral environment without personal protective equipment. Thus achievement of hard immunity is impossible. This mechanism can explain the possibility of animal, bird or any living object infection by coronavirus and seasonal effect. It also explains the doubling rate with the help of viral unloading mechanism and not discussed here.

Dry ice is the solid form of CO2 [7]. The use of dry ice is to preserve food [8], flash-freeze food [9-11] and laboratory biological sample [12,13]. Flash freezing is used in the food industry to quickly freeze perishable food items. Further study needed to confirm its origin. If it is created by nature (in air, water or soil) a lots of information required i.e. air pH (When CO2 dissolved in water vapour, air becomes acidic having a pH value around 5.7), soil pH (soil environment) and water pH where the coronavirus first appears. Information about genetic material inside coronavirus (a long RNA molecule-the viral genome) i.e. structure of its and sensor properties also needed. Whatever be its origin CO2 may give the answer. An information (based on coronavirus behaviour) about coronavirus is that it survive at a pH value in the range of 2.5-8 (highly active at pH (5.5-7.5) help the researcher to find its origin.


In conclusion on the basis of assumption (CO2 has a vital role for coronavirus occurrence and reproductively) the origin of coronavirus, COVID-19 infected and death persons of different countries, mechanism of floating, spreading of coronavirus in air and mechanism of infecting living objects by coronavirus have been explained. The increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere make coronavirus more infectious. Beside social distancing lockdown also decrease the atmospheric CO2 concentration and which parameter has greater contribution for decreasing coronavirus infection is still unknown and further study needed. It is the time to make a world organization for controlling CO2 emission and human population of all countries. If we, the peoples of world are unable to learn the impact of atmospheric CO2 concentration in our life from COVID-19 then another extreme infectious virus will appear again and collapse human civilization.


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