CO2 and the Need for Carbon Dioxide Sensors & Warning Systems

CO2, or cabin dioxide, is a gas that is colourless and odourless, and is crucial to all life on earth.  It is a compound that occurs naturally, and is made up of a carbon atom that is bonded to two oxygen atoms.  It is naturally present in various natural phenomena, such as hot springs, volcanoes and geysers, and is water soluble, which means that it can also be found in natural ice caps and glaciers. 

All aerobic organisms produce CO2 during respiration, and it is one of the prime products of the decay of organic material and the process of fermentation.  It is also produced via combustion of a variety of products and fossil fuels.  When it comes to uses, it is widely applied in industry, for example, welding, extinguishing fires, and also as a pressurised gas for various applications.  It is commonly added to sparkling drinks to produce a fizz, and in its solid form, it is known as dry ice.  It is also a greenhouse gas that causes a lot of damage to the ozone and is a major contributor to the acidification of natural water sources.

Carbon dioxide in high levels is lethal to living organisms, and as it is odourless and tasteless, it is very hard to detect without assistance.  This could lead to an environment that is highly toxic to humans, and in some cases, lethal.  It is therefore important that those who work or live in conditions where high levels of CO2 are a possibility have a means to detect these high levels, before they reach unsuitable conditions.  A variety of technologies provides the means to detect gaseous carbon dioxide levels and to sound an alarm when levels become too high, creating a warning system.  This technology is applied in a wide array of environments and industrial processes, in order to prevent risk to the health and safety of those in the vicinity.  Even a small concentration of CO2 can affect a person’s ability to concentrate and at high levels, lead to asphyxiation and death.

In industry, the highest risk of CO2 poisoning lies in confined spaces that are not well ventilated.  Various processes in the manufacturing of products, such as carbonated drinks, may produce CO2 emissions, and sensors are vital to ensure that those working in the environment receive a warning when levels rise to unsuitable conditions.  Often, an infrared sensor is employed to read CO2 levels and to sound warnings accordingly.  The use for CO2 detection technology is widespread and manifold, and is applied in a wide variety of environments for health and safety reasons. 

At IEPSA, we are considered one of the industry leaders and providers of analytical and scientific equipment to a variety of educational, medical and industrial organisations in South Africa, and we understand the demand for reliability and quality products.  We only offer products that are tried and tested, and we only source our products from international suppliers that are reputable and trusted. 

Give us a call today to find out more about our products and services.

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