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CO2 Cylinders

The Dangers of Overfilling CO2 Cylinders Overfilling a CO2 cylinder, accidentally or purposefully (ex: trying to get longer service out of one charge of a cylinder), can have unexpected and catastrophic consequences due to the characteristics of CO2 charge.

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Overfilling a CO2 cylinder, accidentally or purposefully (ex: trying to get longer service out of one charge of a cylinder), can have unexpected and catastrophic consequences due to the characteristics of CO2 charge.

It has been heard many times that “it is not fair that a CO2 cylinder is deemed full at only 68% of its water capacity”. It appears to many that 32% of the water capacity is not being used, being wasted, and that space could be used to extend the service of the cylinder charge. This is not the case. The 32% is not spare space or wasted capacity. Let us describe 3 situations that identify why this 32% water space is necessary, and why it is not considered wasted or space capacity. 1. A 20# CO2 cylinder with a full charge (68% of its water capacity) When a fully charged, 68% full by water capacity, 20# CO2 cylinder warms to room temperature (70° F), the pressure inside the cylinder is around 837 PSI. When the cylinder reached 87.9° F, the entire charge becomes a gas, no matter the pressure. A fully charged CO2 cylinder at this temperature will have an internal pressure of approximately 1100 PSI. Now, lets raise the temperature to 120° F. A fully charged CO2 cylinder in this temperature will have an internal pressure of 2000 PSI. This pressure is greater than the designed service pressure of 1800 PSI of the cylinder. Remember, this cylinder has been properly filled (not overfilled) and at 120° F has an internal pressure greater than the marked service pressure of the cylinder. A temperature of 120° F is not an excessive temperature and can easily be reached in many different environments (ex: a shed or vehicle on a hot day, or even a kitchen).


2. A 20# CO2 cylinder with a 5# overfill, putting it at 85% of its water capacity The following would occur if a 20# CO2 cylinder we slightly overfilled with 25# of CO2 charge to increase the service time between fills. When this cylinder reaches room temperature at 70° F, its internal pressure would be at 1430 PSI. If this cylinder reached 103° F, venting would occur through the safety device on the valve. This possibly unexpected venting could and has caused personal injury and property damage.

3. A 20# CO2 cylinder greatly overfilled at 95% of its water capacity. A 20# CO2 cylinder filled to 95% of its water capacity, not quite liquid full, would vent through its safety device on the valve before reaching a room temperature of 70° F. If for some reason the safety had been altered or reinforced and did not properly vent, the cylinder could explode between 85° F and 95° F. Rupturing or exploding cylinders can and have cause severe property damage and serious, life threatening, personal injury.

Accidental overfilling will have the same results as purposefully overfilling a CO2 cylinder, no matter the size of the cylinder, whether large or small.

Never overfill a CO2 cylinder. The effects of overfilling a cylinder coupled with the effects of increasing room temperature on the CO2 charge, will greatly increase the probability that severe property damage or personal injury could occur. Do not take the risk by overfilling a cylinder. For more information regarding technical support documents on cylinders, please visit www.cganet.com.

For more information regarding CO2 cylinder, visit www.evergreenmidwest.com or call us toll-free at 800-659-3358.


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CO2 Cylinders - The Dangers of Overfilling CO2 Cylinders  

Overfilling a CO2 cylinder, accidentally or purposefully (ex: trying to get longer service out of one charge of a cylinder), can have unexpe...

CO2 Cylinders - The Dangers of Overfilling CO2 Cylinders  

Overfilling a CO2 cylinder, accidentally or purposefully (ex: trying to get longer service out of one charge of a cylinder), can have unexpe...

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