Carbon dioxide scrubber
A carbon dioxide scrubber is a device which absorbs
carbon dioxide. It is used to treat exhaust gases from industrial plants or from exhaled air in life support systems such as rebreathers or in spacecraft, submersiblecraft or airtight chambers.
Carbon Dioxide scrubbers are also used in Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storage.
Various strong bases such as
soda lime, sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, and lithium hydroxideare able to remove carbon dioxide by reacting with it. In particular, lithium hydroxideis used aboard space craft to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It reacts with carbon dioxide to give lithium bicarbonate:
:2 LiOH(s) + 2 H2O(g) → 2 LiOH.H2O(s):2 LiOH.H2O(s) + CO2(g) → Li2CO3(s) + 3 H2O(g)
The net reaction being:
:2 LiOH(s) + CO2(g) → Li2CO3(s) + H2O(g)
Monoethanolaminesolutions absorb carbon dioxide when cold, and release it when warmed.
Activated Carboncan be used as a Carbon Dioxide scrubber. Air with high Carbon Dioxide content (such as air from fruit stores) can be blown through beds of activated carbon and the Carbon Dioxide will absorb to the activated carbon. Once the bed is saturated it must then be "regenerated" by blowing low Carbon Dioxide air (ambient air) through the bed. This will release the Carbon Dioxide from the bed, and it can then be used to scrub again.
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