what are the applications of Henry's law?
(i) Bottles are sealed under high pressure to increase the solubility of CO2 in soft drinks and soda water.
(ii) Henry’s law states that the solubility of gas increases with an increase in pressure. Therefore, when a scuba diver dives into the sea, the increased sea pressure causes the nitrogen present in air to dissolve in his blood in great amounts. As a result, when he comes back to the surface, the solubility of nitrogen again decreases and the dissolved gas is released, leading to the formation of nitrogen bubbles in the blood. This results in the blockage of capillaries and leads to a medical condition known as ‘bends’, which are painful and dangerous to life. Hence, the oxygen tanks used by scuba divers are filled with air and diluted with helium to avoid bends.
(iii) The concentration of oxygen is low in the blood and tissues of climbers or people living at high altitudes. This is because at high altitudes, the partial pressure of oxygen is less than that at ground level. Low blood oxygen causes climbers to become weak and prevents them from thinking clearly. These are symptoms of ‘anoxia’.