GTW asks, "Where has all of the CO2 gone?"10/26/2018Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is a colorless, odorless gas that is also categorized as a sublimate (can transition from a solid to a gas skipping the liquid phase) here in Western Michigan and around the world. Currently there is one of largest shortages of carbon dioxide throughout Europe. This is the 4th scarcity of CO2 in 10 years in Europe. Plants in Europe, across the world and here in Western Michigan are unable to earn a good profit from manufacturing CO2 alone, so normally they make this gas as a byproduct of other chemicals, typically ammonia fertilizer. One of the first steps in producing ammonia is taking the hydrocarbon molecule like natural gas and splitting the “hydro” from the “carbon.” The hydrogen is then converted into ammonia (NH3) and the carbon into carbon dioxide (CO2). This shortage is due to the ammonia factories that close across Europe during the summer season for maintenance. Along with the summer maintenance repairs increased temperatures raising the demand for beverages that require CO2, like soft drinks and beer, a shortage is created. Although the situation with CO2 is starting to ease as factories come back to working their regular schedules, it will take some time before CO2 levels are restored to where they were before the crisis. To learn more on how you can get CO2 contact GTW in Western Michigan.