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Name:   Jason B.
Status:   other
Age:   30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999-2001


Question:
Why is liquid carbon dioxide used in the beverage carbonation process?


Replies:
Liquid CO2 can be stored at ambient conditions under moderate pressure (critical temperature = 31 C; critical pressure = 73 atm). As a result, 44gm of CO2 (its molecular weight) when evaporated produces 22.4 liters of gas at STP. In addition, being a liquid it can be pumped around etc. In contrast solid CO2 (dry ice) must be stored at low temperature and it is a hard "chunk". So the use of liquid CO2 is just a matter of efficiency -- a way to store large quantities of CO2 in a form that is easy to handle.

Vince Calder


What else would you use? Liquid carbon dioxide can be very conveniently stored and transported in metal cylinders at normal room temperature. It's more compact than the gas; in fact, if you compress the gas at constant room temperature it will eventually condense to the liquid. The solid is more difficult to work with, because you'd have to keep it cold for storage and then warm it up for the carbonation process.

Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
Assistant Director
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois


Jason B.,

Liquid carbon dioxide is used in the beverage industry as a taste enhancer and for a sparkling aura in the looks of the beverage in question. I hope that this answers your question.

Sincerely,

Bob Trach



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