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Bulk Liquid Carbon Dioxide

We understand that Carbon Dioxide is key to your process.  Carbon Dioxide is core to our business.  That is why Air Liquide are continuously striving to exceed your expectations as a world leader for Carbon Dioxide supplies.

Properties

Gaseous CO2 is ….

  • Tasteless, odourless, colourless
  • Non-flammable and relatively inert when dry
  • Highly soluble in water, forming carbonic acid ( H2CO3)
  • About 11/2 times denser than air
  • A natural bacteriostat

Liquid CO2 ….

  • Cannot exist at atmospheric pressure
  • "Flashes" to a mixture of cold gas and solid CO2 (dry ice) when de-pressurised
  • Has solvent properties similar to hexane
  • Becomes "supercritical" when pumped and heated above the critical point - an even better solvent

Carbon Dioxide is a natural product in our environment.  You can read more about Air Liquide's important connection with the environment here.

Quality

Bulk liquid carbon dioxide as supplied to the food and beverage industries now has the most detailed and stringent product specification of any of the common bulk gases. Air Liquide UK has taken a leading role in every stage of the production of this specification, which is now accepted by leading authorities throughout the world, and which will become the new European Standard for CO2 in due course. Air Liquide UK have already developed and installed the advanced sampling and analytical techniques necessary and can supply product that meets the specification NOW.

Production & Distribution

The raw CO2 is purified in several stages, compressed and cooled to produce liquid CO2 at a pressure of about 20 bar gauge and a temperature of about - 20ºC. It is collected in a large tank which, when full, is isolated, analysed and released for distribution. All Liquide UK plants have continuous on-line process analysis as well as batch release. You can read more about supply options for CO2 here. Carbon dioxide is generally stored and transported at a relatively constant temperature and pressure, i.e. about 20 bar and -20 ºC, as above. Static tanks and road tankers are insulated to keep the product cold, and most static tanks have a small refrigeration plant to offset heat ingress and maintain these conditions. Generally, this means CO2 tanks are closed no-loss systems, unlike most other bulk gas tanks.

Sources

All the Liquid Carbon Dioxide supplied by Air Liquide UK is a recovered by-product from other processes. The main source is the thermal cracking of hydrocarbons, where the principal product is hydrogen for captive use in chemical plants. Fermentation in breweries and distilleries is the other important source. Chemical and fermentation sources are preferred as the raw CO2 gas stream is relatively pure and high in CO2 content.  Air Liquide invest heavily to ensure continuity of supply for customers, read more about this here.