Laboratories are the heart of scientific research and experimentation, where ground-breaking discoveries are made every day. Ensuring the safety of researchers and the integrity of experiments is paramount in these controlled environments.
One critical aspect of laboratory safety is managing and controlling the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2). High concentrations of CO2 from experiments, confined airtight spaces (Clean rooms) can pose health risks to personnel and affect experimental outcomes. This is where CO2 scrubbers come into play, offering a reliable solution to maintain a safe and sustainable laboratory environment.
What Are CO2 Scrubbers?
CO2 scrubbers, also known as carbon dioxide scrubbers or carbon dioxide removal systems, are devices designed to remove carbon dioxide from the air within a closed or from a source of air. These scrubbers use various chemical or physical processes to capture CO2 molecules, preventing their build-up and ensuring that the air remains safe for both humans and sensitive equipment.
The Importance of CO2 Control in Laboratories:
Protecting Human Health: Excessive levels of CO2 can lead to a range of health issues, including dizziness, difficulty breathing, and even unconsciousness. In laboratories, where researchers spend long hours, maintaining optimal indoor air quality is crucial to prevent health risks associated with high CO2 concentrations.
Preserving Experiment Integrity: Many scientific experiments and measurements are highly sensitive to environmental conditions. Even small fluctuations in CO2 levels can skew results or render experiments invalid. CO2 scrubbers help maintain stable and controlled conditions, ensuring the reliability and reproducibility of research.
Sustainability and Environmental Responsibility: In an era where sustainability is a top priority, laboratories are expected to reduce their carbon footprint. By removing CO2 from the air rather than releasing it into the environment, laboratories can contribute to a more sustainable future.
How CO2 control work in laboratories
CO2 control can and is most often done with the correct level of ventilation, old air out fresh air in. There are circumstances where that is not possible due to location, experiments or limitations on appropriate filtration. In those situations scrubbers can be used they employ various mechanisms to remove carbon dioxide from the air. Two common methods are:
1. Chemical Absorption:
In this method, a liquid solvent, typically an amine solution, is exposed to the CO2-rich air, CO2 molecules react with the solvent, forming chemical compounds. These compounds can then be separated from the solvent, allowing for the capture and storage of CO2. During some of these applications the chemicals are consumed and in others it is a reversable reaction.
2. Physical Adsorption:
Physical adsorption relies on solid materials, such as porous substances, to trap CO2 at the molecular lever. As air passes through the solid adsorbent, CO2 is attracted to its surface and caught in the micro pours in the surface of the material. CO2 can later be released from the adsorbent through heating or pressure changes (the bases for the PSA systems), allowing for storage or utilization.
Benefits of CO2 Scrubbers in Laboratories
Protects personnel from health risks associated with high CO2 levels.
Ensures a safe and comfortable working environment.
Maintains stable environmental conditions for accurate and reliable research outcomes.
Maintains CO2 free conditions inside of highly sensitive equipment
Prevents the need for frequent ventilation to remove excess CO2, allowing experiments or labs to be maintained for longer without exposure to external air.
CO2 scrubbers are indispensable tools for laboratories seeking to ensure safety and maintain experiment integrity. By efficiently removing carbon dioxide from the air, these systems help create a conducive and sustainable research environment. Incorporating CO2 scrubbers into laboratory infrastructure is a wise investment that benefits both researchers and the research.