Carbon Dioxide – The most controversial gas of all


Undisputedly, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) has gained a reputation as the most controversial of the industrial gases, nine out of ten times hogging the headlines and often for the wrong reasons, rather than the right ones.

Existing in Earth’s atmosphere as a gas, it currently has a global average concentration of approximately 387ppm (parts per million) by volume. It also has the rare distinction of being one of the first gases to be described as a substance distinct from air.

Carbon dioxide is a valuable industrial gas with a large number of uses that include the production of chemicals such as urea, use in refrigeration systems, as an inert agent for food packaging, carbonation in beverages, welding systems, fire extinguishers, water treatment processes, as a precipitated calcium carbonate for the paper industry, and many other emerging large and small scale applications.

Demand/Supply & Prices
Short supply was witnessed in various markets both last year and this. South Africa has been experiencing an imbalance in its demand/supply equation for almost two years, due to erratic power supply. The country was dependent (and to some extent still is) on the import of CO2 to meet domestic demand, while the UK and Ireland too, were under tight supply last year.

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