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Liquid Carbon Dioxide

Liquid Carbon dioxide is nonflammable, colorless, and odorless in the gaseous and liquid states. Carbon dioxide is a minor but important constituent of the atmosphere, averaging about 0.036% or 360 ppm by volume. It is also a normal end-product of human and animal metabolism.

Dry carbon dioxide is a relatively inert gas. In the event moisture is present in high concentrations, carbonic acid may be formed and materials resistant to this acid should be used. High flow rates or rapid depressurization of a system can cause temperatures approaching the sublimation point (–109.3°F [–78.5°C]) to be attained within the system. Carbon dioxide will convert directly from a liquid to a solid if the liquid is depressurized below 76 psia (61 psig). The use of materials which become brittle at low temperatures should be avoided in applications where temperatures less than –20°F (–29°C) are expected.

Manufacture Liquid Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide in the gaseous state is colorless and odorless and not easily detectable. Gaseous carbon dioxide is 1.5 times denser than air and therefore is found in greater concentrations at low levels. Ventilation systems should be designed to exhaust from the lowest levels and allow make-up air to enter at a higher level.

Uses Liquid Carbon Dioxide

Liquid carbon dioxide is used widely in the food industry for freezing meats, poultry, vegetables, and fruits. Solid carbon dioxide (dry ice) is used to cool meats prior to grinding and also to refrigerate meat and poultry during transit. Soft drinks, wines, and beers are produced using gaseous carbon dioxide for carbonation. Carbon dioxide is used in water treatment to neutralize alkaline water. Liquid carbon dioxide is also used to increase recovery from oil and gas wells. Other industrial uses include the production of chemicals, plastics, rubber, metals, and electronic components.


Bulk carbon dioxide is typically stored as a liquid in storage tanks. Tanks are insulated by polyurethane foam with a vapor barrier, which provides weather protection. The tanks are fabricated from carbon steel according to ASME Standards. Carbon dioxide is maintained below 305 psig by a refrigeration unit and above 245 psig with a pressure buildup coil so that carbon dioxide can be stored for an indefinite period without venting. Cryogenic liquid cylinders are vacuum-jacketed and can hold product for long periods without venting. Cryogenic liquid cylinders can either supply liquid or gas and liquid.