Take a deep breath and exhale. Your breath produced about .0001 pounds of carbon dioxide, a colorless gas, that is essential to life on earth. CO2 is formed when one atom of carbon combines with two atoms of oxygen and is produced by a wide variety of natural and man-made sources. We use it in products ranging from fire extinguishers to soda. It’s even used to create the “pop” in Pop Rocks candy.

CO2 is a primary greenhouse gas that makes the earth habitable, but in increasing amounts it can also cause global warming by trapping the sun’s radiant energy in our atmosphere. However, some companies are making progress in harnessing CO2 as an ingredient in concrete.

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