Carbon Dioxide, CO2

Measuring Instruments for Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide or carbon dioxide (CO2) is a non-flammable, acidic, colourless and odourless gas in ambient air consisting of a chemical compound of carbon and oxygen. The proportion of carbon dioxide in our ambient air is currently about 400ppm (parts per million), which equates to about 0.04%.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

People and animals breathe more carbon dioxide (about 4%) than they inhale. In poorly ventilated enclosed spaces where many people are staying, such as conference rooms, conventions, sports facilities, discos, theaters, cinemas, school classes, etc. the carbon dioxide concentration in the air can rise up to several thousands ppm. This has an impact on the health and well-being of the people who are staying in these rooms. The same applies to animals in poorly ventilated stables. For values below 800ppm the room air quality is considered as good. Measured values above 1400ppm are considered as bad. Measuring instruments for the concentration of carbon dioxide in ambient air are therefore reliable indicators for indoor air quality and can also be used to switch on/off ventilation systems.

Carbon dioxide and health

400ppm and less: Fresh outdoor air
Under 5,000ppm: Bad atmosphere, discomfort, problems with mental work (concentration).
Maximum allowable workplace concentration: 5.000ppm
With more than 50,000ppm CO2, headaches and dizziness occur.
80,000-100,000ppm: difficulty in breathing, weakness until unconsciousness, death after 30-60min.
200,000ppm: Fast unconsciousness, death after 5-10min.

There are high concentrations of carbon dioxide in fodder silos, wells, wine cellars, fermentation rooms, septic tanks, caves and mining tunnels. Persons staying there do not notice the odourless gas and can suffocate.

Carbon dioxide in industry, agriculture and medicine

Carbon dioxide is also used for industrial and chemical processes, and measurement of CO2 is also important in agriculture and medicine. There are many applications for carbon dioxide meters:
  • Environmental and outdoor measurements
  • Greenhouses
  • Cattle sheds
  • Storage and transport (protective atmosphere) of fruit and vegetables
  • Cold storage and cooling systems (use as refrigerant)
  • Incubators in the life sciences
  • Production of mineral water and lemonades
  • Applications as dry ice
  • Application in fire extinguishing systems

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