What Is The General Formula For A Combustion Reaction CO2 for ‘Free’

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CO2 for ‘Free’

We’ve all heard that there is no such thing as a ‘free lunch’; well the process described in this article may be as close to one as you get. Most of us already know the benefits of CO2 enrichment for photosynthesis. To increase indoor growth and greenhouse energy, CO2 is added to maintain a level of about 1500 ppm, this may require frequent trips to the industrial gas supplier and / or large quantities of propane or natural gas, and related costs. It is ironic that many indoor farmers release CO2 from their home heaters and hot water heaters while simultaneously releasing or producing CO2 from their indoor grow room or greenhouse.

Propane and natural gas are clean enough that small, airtight gas appliances are approved for indoor use. These gas burners all use oxygen (in the air) to burn the gas, resulting in the production of CO2, H20 (moisture), and heat (Reusch). Emissions from gas equipment can provide 3 important conditions for maximum growth: humidity, temperature, and CO2 level. Excess heat from the exhaust is removed by a furnace heat exchanger or water heater; resulting in a slightly warmer discharge. Photosynthesis of many plants, including cannabis, in a CO2-enriched environment, is most efficient around 85 degrees F.

If the pipe of a large gas heater is turned into a growing area, there is a great potential for all oxygen to be burned or removed from their environment, and CO (carbon monoxide accumulation), leading to toxic air conditions. With the right equipment, CO2 from your gas furnace and/or water heater can be safely used to supplement the CO2 used in your grow room. This will save time and money, make plants grow bigger, reduce fuel consumption, and dramatically reduce the amount of ‘Greenhouse’ gases released into the environment. Using these techniques, you will help prevent global warming while improving growing conditions. The key to doing this safely and effectively is to divert enough air from your gas appliance to your grow area to maintain a CO2 level of 1500 ppm, and have additional exhaust directed to the outside.

“The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) have set workplace safety standards of 5,000 ppm” and very high levels of CO2 can cause asphyxiation that is invisible when O2 in the blood replaced by CO2 (Minnesota Department of Health). Keep a CO (carbon monoxide) detector in the grow room to protect yourself in case of equipment malfunction! Do not attempt this project if you are using oil or kerosene heat, which do not burn cleanly!

The trick to tapping into this source of unused CO2 in gas furnaces and water heaters is energy absorbers. A power damper is a duct section with a flap that opens and closes the flow in the duct and is powered by electricity. Some dampers close with current use and others are designed to open. Most dampers are low voltage so an appropriately sized transformer must be installed inline with the damper; there are some 110volt dampers. Quality dampers will seal much better than cheap dampers. This simple addition to a CO2 enrichment system will pay for itself many times over (especially with today’s fuel prices) and reduce the emissions of your home or business into the environment, making your project ‘green’. It is necessary to have a CO2 level monitor installed in the sequencer to tell the dampers (using power) when CO2 is needed and when the line is reached. You can still use your controller to run a CO2 generator and or controller.

Locate the exhaust pipe on your gas furnace or hot water heater. These devices must be properly ventilated. Turn off your gas appliance while you work on this. Cut off (or cut open) the section of pipe where it will be closest, with a slight bend, to clip and move the new pipe into the growth area. A few of the items needed can be found at most heating supply stores. If you can’t find dampers that match the size and type of pipe you have, you may need to convert the pipe to a size or type that you can find dampers for. Using a “Y” connector and a damper that shuts off when power is added, connect the pipe line to the outside. For better flow, insert a “Y” so that the exhaust reaches the ‘bottom’ of the “Y” duct section. Now take the damper that opens when power is applied, put it in another “Y” opening. Run a pipe from this ‘open energy’ sludge into the growing area above the plants, because CO2 is heavier than air; but you probably already know this. Now all you have to do is connect the dampers together or use a multi-outlet adapter and connect it to your CO2 sequencer and your CO2 generator or CO2 control tank using the 3 outlet adapter.

If the ducts are away from the exterior wall or roof there may be central booster fans. If the grow room does not get water through the new pipe, an internal pipe fan may be needed, especially if one is used on the original pipe that exits the pipe past the new “Y” section of the electrical equipment. If you add a duct booster fan, wire it or connect it with dampers, they will turn on and off together. Most furnaces will have a sufficient exhaust blower so that an additional booster fan is not needed. Keep an eye on any booster fans (if any) in the primary channel between the “Y” junction and the outside, there is a chance that they may overheat when running when the damper to the outside is closed.

When this is programmed, when your CO2 sequencer decides it’s time to add CO2 to the room and switch on the power, the exhaust damper to the outside will close and the damper to the grow room will open; resulting in the furnace or hot water pipe being twisted into the grow room. The CO2 generator or release regulator will also work, this way the room is guaranteed to always have the correct amount of CO2 even if the furnace or water heater is not currently working. When the right level is reached and the sequencer is energized, the damper leading into the grow room will close and the damper in the duct leading outside will reopen. All exhaust during this time will flow to the outside until the room needs more CO2.

For safety, make sure all circuits and/or outlets supply no more than 80% of their rated load in watts, and are properly wired. Also, make sure you secure the pipe well. 200°F rated tape holds better than normal (joining duct sections).

If you divert the hot water pipe to this additional CO2 enrichment, you can also use this program by timing the showers, dishes and laundry, as the lights come on (the time when the enrichment devices are active the most) and during the light cycle. in general.

Using this system, growers will find that they make fewer trips to get propane or CO2 tanks filled, and spend less money, while the levels in the grow room remain the same.

This addition to the enrichment system will reduce the amount of CO2 emitted into the environment from the home or business. The CO2 diverted from the room is used by plants during photosynthesis, further reducing the CO2 emissions of the greenhouse gas. Using this system, the room will reach the desired CO2 level quickly, and fluctuate less, promoting more growth.

List of Works Excerpts:

Minnesota Department of Health

This page, located on the Minnesota Department of Health website, is a good resource for showing the negative health effects that high levels of C02 will cause. As far as I know, this site is run by the State government. The information on this page is consistent with other sources that describe the harmful health effects of high levels of CO2 in the air. This paper, while brief, clearly shows the numbers and risks, agreed upon by government scientists, associated with high levels of CO2. The statement, “At very high levels, 30,000 ppm and above, CO2 can cause asphyxiation as it replaces oxygen in our blood.” clearly shows the potentially fatal situation that high CO2 levels can cause.

“Carbon Dioxide (CO2)” Minnesota Department of Health. March 2004.

27 June 2005 http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/indoorair/co2/>

Reusch, William. “Reactions of Alkanes” Michigan State University

This paper clearly describes the physical process of propane combustion. After reviewing a dozen propane and natural gas fire sources, I found this page to be the most accurate, thorough yet understandable explanation of possible propane fire responses. Although this article does not cite references for the information it contains, the information is consistent with general information and other reference materials and is located on the Michigan State University Department of Chemistry website. By showing the structural formulas of the mentioned reactions and a clear logic showing why the reactions can be different, this resource will allow the reader of my essay to understand what products can be created by burning propane. This article shows how CO2 and H2O are the direct products obtained by burning propane when sufficient O2 is present.

Reusch, William. “Reactions of Alkanes” Michigan State University

Department of Chemistry 1999. rev. 2004. 28 June 2005


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