Monday, September 7, 2015

General Knowledge About Carbon Dioxide And The High Pressure CO2 Pump

By Daphne Bowen

At present, industry makes use of carbon dioxide gas in a pressurized form. This is an example of a gas which is being utilized in a state or concentration in which it does not naturally occur. Carbon dioxide, or CO2, does in fact occur naturally in the atmosphere, but its concentration is so low that the layperson might see it as negligible: 0.04% of the atmosphere. Yet it is not. It is one of the most important gases in the air, and anyone who makes use of a high pressure CO2 pump in their industrial operations should inform themselves about it.

Carbon dioxide is odorless and has no color, so it cannot be detected by people. When it is reduced to a temperature at which it is in a solid state, it is known colloquially as "dry ice", and it is used to keep things cold. But dry ice is not stable and instantly vaporizes once it has been left exposed to the ordinary air. Storing or maintaining dry ice is not easy.

The CO2 molecule is formed when oxygen and carbon combine. Carbon does not sound like highly flammable material but when it burns it produces carbon dioxide. CO2 comprises two oxygen atoms and one carbon atom.

Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and use it in a process known as photosynthesis, through which oxygen is produced as a by-product. This is an extremely important process in the atmosphere, because the major forest areas of the earth produce a large proportion of the oxygen in the air. However, trees can only produce oxygen during the day time, when there is sunshine. At night, in the dark, they produce carbon dioxide instead, and use oxygen. Environmental activists sometimes raise this issue - namely that the elimination of forests is a source of concern.

0.03% might sound like a very small fraction, but CO2 is nonetheless an important gas. It is not used by the body, and is exhaled with water vapor during respiration. In an environment containing only CO2, respiration is impossible and suffocation will ensue in a short space of time.

This is linked to one of the main uses of CO2, which is known as controlled atmosphere storage, or CA storage. In such facilities, the air is almost entirely carbon dioxide, and fresh produce does not decompose, since aerobic bacteria cannot function. The nutritional value of the produce is not always stable over time, though.

People are probably more aware of the use of CO2 in carbonated drinks, such as fizzy soft drinks. They may not realize that CO2 also does something else in these drinks - it dissolves in water to produce a mild acid known as carbonous acid (H2CO3). The bubbles of gas in the drink dissolve into the liquid part to produce this acid. It is not powerful but it can cause damage. A tooth will dissolve in a soft drink if left in it over night.

Carbon dioxide should therefore be treated with caution by those who work with it. In a pure or mostly CO2 environment, death is caused by asphyxiation. Users of the pump equipment should be educated as to the risks and proper operating procedures.

About the Author:

No comments:

Post a Comment