Question on Carbon Monoxide gas

There seems to be differences of opinions on the properties of carbon
monoxide gas. One source says its heavier than air another says its
lighter, so.......is it heavier or lighter than air?
To be honest I rather trust the info from this forum than various
websites and media types.
Reply to
Roy
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And you slept though Chemistry, saying "when will I ever use this boring stuff..."
CO: 12+16=28, .vs. air, a mixture of 78% 14+14 (N2) and 21% 16+16 (O2), plus 1% others. So, slightly lighter than air. But not much. And very, very deadly in high concentrations - read a bit on the wood/biomass gasification websites to be reminded - evidently the old "head in the oven" method of suicide dated back to cooking gas that was mostly CO, and 1 or two deep breaths would do the job...
Don't know what you are doing, but I suggest a CO meter/alarm with a digital readout - $50 bucks or so, well spent.
Reply to
Ecnerwal
Air is a mixture of about 80% nitrogen (molecular weight approx. 28) and 20% oxygen (molecular weight approx. 32). Carbon monoxide has a molecular weight of approximately 28. So it's very slightly lighter than air.
That only matters for a short while, though. Because it won't be too long before the gases mix thoroughly, regardless of their densities. How long is hard to say. You can calculate the time for perfectly still gases, but it's drastically reduced when the gases are stirred up even a little bit, as they are by people moving around, changes in barometric pressure, etc.
John Martin
Reply to
John Martin
It is slightly lighter than air. It also enters the blood stream around 300 times easier than oxygen, IIRC from my medical training.
If you suspect you or someone is affected, look at their nails. Cyanosis, bluing of nailbeds and lips, is a sign.
As another poster said, get a good CO alarm. This is one that has a constant digital readout of what the CO is at any moment, as well as a memory. If the danger level is 400ppm, I don't want to wait until then. Or if it only goes up to 396, and the alarm doesn't sound. By then, you will have a doozy of a headache, and feel bad for a while.
CO is lethal and kills people every day. One of the things that makes it so lethal is that it is silent and odorless. Get a good detector. I have Kidde brand.
Steve
Reply to
Steve B
The worst things about CO are that it sticks to hemoglobin better than oxygen and that it accumulates in your blood. So even with very small amounts present in the air you can be poisoned and die. This is also why just removing someone from exposure to the gas won't guarantee survival. I believe it also affects other organs besides the brain. ERS
Reply to
Eric R Snow
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Reply to
Leo Lichtman
Interestingly this is absolutely untrue.
CO poisioning exhibits itself as nail beds, lips, etc as being bright cherry red.
Carboxyhemolglogin is every bit as red as the oxygenated variety - even more so.
In fact this is a strong indicator of CO exposure.
Jim
Reply to
jim rozen
this is something i don't understand and have been wanting to ask here. there have been posts about filling vessels with internal combustion engine exhaust fumes as a in-a-pinch back purge. thing i was wondering was, isn't carbon monoxide (as a component of exhaust gases) flammable/explosive? isn't carbon monoxide what is produced as "fuel" in a wood gassification generator?
b.w.
Reply to
William Wixon
How many PPM CO are you expecting?
Reply to
Dave Hinz
That's usually a sign that they're already dead (or good as). CO is hazardous enough that it has a good chance of killing long before visible signs are evident. And for that matter they'll turn a deep pink from CO, rather than blue.
For chronic low-level CO exposure, a slight headache might be all the symptomatic indication you get. Then one day the wind is blowing the other way down your gas heater flue and you wind up dead instead. Back in the days of individual room gas heaters (coal gas) we really did lose an awful lot of people to these accidents.
Reply to
Andy Dingley
The point with inert gas filling is to displace _oxygen_, usually because the vessel is already unavoidably full of some flammable hydrocarbon. If you can't stop there being fuel present, shut off the oxidiser.
Reply to
Andy Dingley
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============= Yes but only if oxygen is present. The idea is that you fill the tank with motor exhaust fumes which are effectively depleted of oxygen thus any explosive/flamable vapor can ignite because there is no oxygen present. Many people get the same results by purging with c02 fir extinguisher. I don't know how effective it was [tank did not explode] but I have seen several welders squirt the shielding gas from their metal-arc systems to displace the air before tig welding on a gas tank.
Same idea is used in many military aircraft. After the fuel tank explosion on flight 800 aircraft civilian aircraft were supposed to do this also. Should be accomplished by about 2050.
Uncle George
Reply to
F. George McDuffee
snip
Yep, but it seems they have disconnecte dit on lots of the latest versions of fighters....They used to use Halon 1301 as a fuel tank inerting agent...Cargo types use a foam of some sort that is flame proof and takes up a lot of space but is somehow supposed to still allow sufficient fuel capacity.......IIRC its a blue color......F-16's used Halon but somewhere along the line the USAF dropped it like a hot potatoe.......and deactivated all the systems. I don;t know if its fact or not, but was told they now have installed a nitrogen system in its place, however the jets at my old unit still do not have any inerting systems installed and they rotate in and out of the Iraqi theater continually so its not like they may not be exposed to combat conditions so there is not a need for it......
As to flight 800.......its amazing what and how a lot of aircraft civil and military alike have tons of wiring running in and around fuel cells......The F-16 has some pretty major wire bundles routed right through the main fuel cells in nothing more than a thin wall alum tube or just a grommet and no tube.......or conduit.......and just about all connections are common electrical crimp on connections on things like fuel probes (low voltage type) but these same aircraft get hit by lightning all the time and have lots of burned through insulation. most of the wires used was that crappy kapton type insulated stuff which is about as durable as the coating on an electric motors windings.......While the AC pack helped create flight 800's unsafe condition with heating of the fuel, I just can't seem to think military aircraft are just as prone, since on most fighters the entire fusealage surounds the engines and in that fusealage is a tank for fuel where ever they can be placed.....In a way I believe what NTSB found with 800, but in other ways I don't buy it all as they state.
Reply to
Roy
Take a look at this while your at it... has some good links at the end.
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Be careful messing with this stuff...
Erik
Reply to
Erik
CO is combustible in air, but has a pretty high auto igntion temperature. Typical exhaust CO level from a gasoline engine is that is operating at a stoichometric air fuel ratio is around 0.5 to 1%. Stoic. on a gasoline engine is about 14.7:1 air to fuel ratio on a mass basis. CO goes concentration goes up very quickly if the engine is running rich of stoic. or has poor cylinder to cylinder fuel distribution, or a missfire. An engine will run quite nicely at 5% CO. Unfortunatly, if the engine fuel distribution is bad or the engine is missfiring, the O2 concentration in the exhaust will also go up. If a gasoline engine is running at stoic, and has good fuel distribution, the exhaust could be fairly "inert", but this cannot be counted on unless it is being monitored with a gas analyzer. With after treatment, ie. a functioning catalyst and running at stoic., CO and HC exhaust c> > There seems to be differences of opinions on the properties of carbon
Reply to
oldjag
Just add up the atomic weights and determine it for yourself. CO OO NN ...lw...
Reply to
Lew Hartswick
i figured someone was going to say that. so, if you can use a flammable gas (carbon monoxide) to displace oxygen, couldn't you purge the oxygen out of the tank with propane? i understand the idea of purging oxygen to prevent fire/explosion but it doesn't make sense to me to use a flammable gas to do so (but i don't have as much experience as you guys).
b.w.
Reply to
William Wixon
There's also the matter of diffusion and convection - just because a gas is heavier than air doesn't mean it will all sink to the floor.
Reply to
Mike Henry
Almost every new car today has a fuel pump inside the tank..... Its a mith that flight 800 blew up from a fuel tank pump
John
Reply to
John
Look at a chemical chart -
Carbon Nitrogen oxygen are in those three positions. 6 ele 7 ele 8 ele ele= electrons
Since air is 70%+ Nitrogen, < 30% Oxygen - CO indicates a 50% mixture - of carbon to Oxygen. 5*6 + 5*8 ~ 70 for CO - 7*7 + 3*8 ~ 73 So by electron count - CO is lighter. The mass of each atom is :
12.+ , 14.+ , 16.00 so with mass : 5*12 + 5*16 = 140 while 7*14 + 3*16 = 146
So when we do a better job with mass values - CO is just lighter.
martin Martin Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder
Roy wrote:
Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn

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