Tuesday 24 September 2013

Ethylene Gas Absorber

Ever tried to keep food fresh on a boat without a fridge or cooler box. It's hard as the food soon goes off. We tend to keep vegetables in a cooler box or rattan box and other foodstuffs in the fridge. Even then food sometimes is past its best before we have consumed it all.

I came across a little gadget that you can place inside your cooler box or fridge. Its intended to extend the freshness of food items. It's called an 'Ethylene Gas Absorber for Fridges.' The principal is that it slows down the ripening process and keeps fruit and veg in the fridge fresher for longer due to an active natural principle. Attracts and holds up to 97% of the ethylene gases that fruit and vegetables naturally give off. Lasts about 3 months.

There are various versions available from various makers. Different containers and colours but do the same job. All vary a bit in price. Available on eBay

The full blurb:

The ethylene molecule is very reactive and is readily oxidized into a state that will not do damage to produce. There are several ways that may be used to remove ethylene from produce storage areas. One of the simplest and safest methods is to oxidize it with potassium permanganate. This reaction can remove ethylene to very low levels. Potassium permanganate (KMnO4) is used in a number of familiar applications, such as in drinking water treatment systems. 
Since we have chosen to use potassium permanganate as our oxidizer, we need to choose a way to make it the most available for reacting with the ethylene gas in our refrigerator. We need a support medium that will allow the ethylene to contact the oxidizer so it may be reacted away. Industry does this in several ways, or course, but for the home refrigerator application we like the use of natural zeolite. Zeolite is a pure form of volcanic ash that has a very high surface area, providing an ideal substrate for the ethylene oxidation to occur.
Natural zeolite is often used as an odor absorber and a humidity stabilizer in refrigerators, closets, and automobiles. The very high surface area traps odor molecules and absorbs water when humidity is too high - releasing it back into the atmosphere when it gets too dry. Of course, the zeolite used in the Ethylene Gas Guardian serves those purposes, but its function as a support medium for removing ethylene is its main purpose.
The zeolite used in the E.G.G. is from an exceptionally high quality deposit. After the crushing and grading of the zeolite, there are no fines and virtually no dusting. The potassium permanganate is applied to the zeolite using a patented process that lays the active chemical on the surface uniformly all the way to the center of the zeolite. The resulting product has the highest reactive chemical, 6%, and the best cationic exchange capacity of any in the industry.
The KMnO4 coated zeolite is then packaged in Tyvek packets that are water resistant, but are highly permeable to ethylene. It contains the zeolite and prevents any fines from getting out and onto your produce. Although the contents are not harmful, they can be colorful, making the produce less attractive to eat. 

Time for Replacement
The reaction between the ethylene and potassium permanganate oxidizes the ethylene away and, or course, reduces the potassium permanganate away, too. The amount of potassium permanganate available will last at least 3 months in most home refrigerators. 

Don't throw the spent zeolite away !
We recommend that you put the spent zeolite on your plants. The zeolite is a natural soil and the MnO2 provides trace minerals to the soil. Your plants will love it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please put your name to your comment. Comments without a name may automatically be treated as spam and might not be included.

If you do not wish your comment to be published say so in your comment. If you have a tip or sensitive information you’d prefer to share anonymously, you may do so. I will delete the comment after reading.