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Old 10-01-09, 05:29 PM   #1
xfimpg
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CO2 in cold weather

Hi Everyone

Does anyone have any insight or first-hand experience if CO2 cartridges in cold weather, say between 40 - 55 Fahrenheit, tend to inflate less?

Thanks in advance
Mike
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Old 10-01-09, 06:03 PM   #2
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I don't know if it inflates less in cold weather but CO2 should be used only for roadside fixes as it leaks out faster than air.
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Old 10-01-09, 06:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xfimpg View Post
cold weather, say between 40 - 55 Fahrenheit,
Boy, I wish 40-55F was cold weather!

Do you live in Miami?
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Old 10-01-09, 06:30 PM   #4
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Technically less yes.
Not noticeably less though.
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Old 10-01-09, 08:06 PM   #5
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Boy, I wish 40-55F was cold weather!

Do you live in Miami?
I think you read that as celcius and not fahrenheit.
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Old 10-01-09, 08:07 PM   #6
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Technically less yes.
Not noticeably less though.
Okay, thanks.
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Old 10-01-09, 08:12 PM   #7
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The point where CO2 changes states - from a gas to a solid (dry ice) in the case of CO2 - is pretty close to it's temperature when used by people. Say 0C to 40C. It freezes into Dry Ice at -78C. Which is -109F. Whereas air won't liquefy for a few hundred degrees colder.

What this means is that yes - there would be a discernible difference in using CO2 in cold weather. While nowhere near as much if using air. And it's true that CO2 will escape from tubes much more rapidly than air. So it should only be considered for a roadside repair.
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Old 10-01-09, 08:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xfimpg View Post
I think you read that as celcius and not fahrenheit.
40-55F is not nearly Cold. A bit cool, maybe.
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Old 10-02-09, 03:23 AM   #9
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40-55F is not nearly Cold. A bit cool, maybe.
I was worried about not having a "real man" post in this thread. Thanks for covering it.
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Old 10-02-09, 06:21 AM   #10
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At 40F I wear a windbreaker over a LS jersey, tights, and some light cotton gloves. At 55F I don't bother with the windbreaker or the gloves.

Compared to the freezing point of CO2, 40 is positively warm. But any gas will decrease in volume with decreasing temerature. That much is HS chemistry.
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Old 10-02-09, 06:30 AM   #11
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At 40F I wear a windbreaker over a LS jersey, tights, and some light cotton gloves. At 55F I don't bother with the windbreaker or the gloves.
Sorry, this position has already been filled.
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Old 10-02-09, 06:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
Which is -109F.
You've relieved my mind. I very seldom ride when it's -109F outside.
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Old 10-02-09, 06:41 AM   #13
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PV=nrT

As the Temperature decreases so will the Pressure, given the same Volume. So yes, you may notice a slight decrease in tire Pressure, that will increase (all by itself) when you warm up the gas in the tube.

That being said, I doubt it is enough to matter.

I wish 40-55 was "cold" too!

it is 35 here this morning, so I guess I have to put on some leggings and a long sleeve jersey. I use CO2 on all my rides, and in the winter below zero is not uncommon.

zac
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Old 10-02-09, 08:06 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by zac View Post
PV=nrT

As the Temperature decreases so will the Pressure, given the same Volume. So yes, you may notice a slight decrease in tire Pressure, that will increase (all by itself) when you warm up the gas in the tube.

That being said, I doubt it is enough to matter.

I wish 40-55 was "cold" too!

it is 35 here this morning, so I guess I have to put on some leggings and a long sleeve jersey. I use CO2 on all my rides, and in the winter below zero is not uncommon.

zac
You quoted the ideal gas law; however the CO2 cylinder contains liquid and saturated vapor much like a propane cylinder or butane lighter. In this case it is the vapor pressure that is of interest. You can look this up on line but for CO2 it is around 800 psi at room temperature and drops to about 600 psi at 40 degrees F. Obviously this is still way above the desired tire pressure so there will be no problem with inflation.
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Old 10-02-09, 09:47 AM   #15
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You quoted the ideal gas law; however the CO2 cylinder contains liquid and saturated vapor much like a propane cylinder or butane lighter. In this case it is the vapor pressure that is of interest. You can look this up on line but for CO2 it is around 800 psi at room temperature and drops to about 600 psi at 40 degrees F. Obviously this is still way above the desired tire pressure so there will be no problem with inflation.
Perhaps I misunderstood the OP then. As I understood the question, this has nothing to do with getting the CO2 out of the canister, but instead whether the decreased temperature say 40-55F has an associated decreased tire/tube pressure as opposed to what it would be in more nominal temperatures, say 70-90F.

Still the ideal gas law applies, as that determines the vapor pressure at the Particular ambient temperature. The Vapor pressure of any liquid varies according to Temperature. As the Temperature deceases, as you note, so does the VP. Indeed they are directly proportional to each other. Liquid CO2 is not filling the tube. As you puncture the canister, the equilibrium is disturbed, the pressure of the CO2 gas vapor holding the CO2 in a liquid state rapidly decreases, thus allowing more liquid CO2 to "boil" off and transition into it gaseous state.

Sounds like we are talking about the same thing, just looking at it from different perspectives. The VP is useful in determining how big a canister we need to start with to hold a fixed amount of CO2. For bike applications, we need to hold 16ozs or 12ozs of liquid CO2. At normal use Temperatures, say -20 to 40C (0-100F) we are looking at a VP of ~800psi (+/-) for CO2, so knowing the volume that 16oz of liquid CO2 takes, what additional Volume in the Canister do we need to hold the gas at 800psi. For this we need the ideal gas law. Now, the VP is no longer useful once we puncture that canister, at least here on the surface of earth. That CO2 gas & liquid is no longer in equilibrium and the pressure is suddenly decreasing well below the VP. In this case the ideal gas law lets us know what the end result of tire pressure will be, again all dependent on the outside Temperature, and size (Volume) of the tire/tube.

zac


EDIT: to no way imply that the decedent was being frozen with co2, or that somehow use of co2 lead to the early demise of tires and tubes. The unedited version of that is quoted by xfimpg

Last edited by zac; 10-02-09 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 10-02-09, 11:08 AM   #16
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Perhaps I misunderstood the OP then. As I understood the question, this has nothing to do with getting the CO2 out of the canister, but instead whether the deceased temperature say 40-55F has an associated deceased tire/tube pressure as opposed to what it would be in more nominal temperatures, say 70-90F.
Yup, that was the original question.
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Old 10-02-09, 04:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zac View Post
Perhaps I misunderstood the OP then. As I understood the question, this has nothing to do with getting the CO2 out of the canister, but instead whether the decreased temperature say 40-55F has an associated decreased tire/tube pressure as opposed to what it would be in more nominal temperatures, say 70-90F.
In nearly any scenario, all of the liquid CO2 will evaporate and the (final) pressure inside the tire will be the same as the (final) pressure inside the cartridge. The evaporation and expansion happen so quickly that there is no influence of outside temperature on the process.
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Old 10-03-09, 07:22 AM   #18
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According to Al Gore the CO2 will lead to global warming and it won't be cold anymore.
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Old 10-03-09, 08:44 AM   #19
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If CO2 leaks out easier than Air, perhaps I should be using Argon for inflation, rather than just using it as an insulating gas in my drysuit (scuba).
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Old 10-03-09, 09:01 AM   #20
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If CO2 leaks out easier than Air, perhaps I should be using Argon for inflation, rather than just using it as an insulating gas in my drysuit (scuba).
You bike with a scuba drysuit??
Pics?
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Old 10-03-09, 09:33 AM   #21
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In nearly any scenario, all of the liquid CO2 will evaporate and the (final) pressure inside the tire will be the same as the (final) pressure inside the cartridge. The evaporation and expansion happen so quickly that there is no influence of outside temperature on the process.
Well of course the pressures will equalize, did I say otherwise? However, time is not a function of this process, other than the system itself acting as a heat pump. But the ambient Temperature (eg the "outside temperature") is very much a part of this and will indeed determine the final equalization pressure. Again PV = nrT. Note again that Pressure and Temperature are directly proportional. In other words, given a canister and a tire/tube of a fixed volume, the final equalized pressure will be lower in colder weather than it is in hotter weather.

HTH
zac

Last edited by zac; 10-03-09 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 10-03-09, 10:09 AM   #22
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If we can summarize this thread, it is possible for CO2 to not be as efficient as air in a cold weather day situation, but not significantly enough that a rider will notice less volume in their tire, especially considering the CO2 is used for a roadside fix.

Did I get that right?

EDIT: added a few words in the first sentence to correct for my morning dyslexia.
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Old 10-03-09, 02:45 PM   #23
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CO2 behaves as an ideal gas at these temperatures and pressures.

The ideal gas law can be expressed

PV = nRT.

We're seeking 'n', the number of moles of CO2, for two different temperatures, with P and V being constant. R is the gas law constant. So,

n2 / n1 = T1 / T2


Temperature must be expressed on the absolute scale. Add 273.15 to the celsius temperature to get the kelvin temperature. Suppose the 'cold' temperature is 32F / 0C / 273K and the 'hot' temperature is 77F / 25C / 298K. Then, the ratio of the number of moles of CO2 required when cold to the number required when hot is

298 / 273 = 1.09.

You need about 9% more gas at 32F than at 77F, and roughly speaking your cylinder of CO2 will inflate 9% more tires at 77F than at 32F.

Not sure about possible adsorption on the rubber, which would be greater at colder temperatures. This could be a factor; I don't know enough to be sure.

Last edited by duffer1960; 10-03-09 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 10-03-09, 02:51 PM   #24
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Hi Everyone

Does anyone have any insight or first-hand experience if CO2 cartridges in cold weather, say between 40 - 55 Fahrenheit, tend to inflate less?

Thanks in advance
Mike

Mike for all practle purpouses it is not going to make a difference how cold it is. 40-55 not cold. CO2 will work fine i this weather, mainly I only use mine whne the temps are well below freezeing. It sure as heck beats standing beside the road with a frame pump. CO2 is a get you home kind of thing.
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Old 10-03-09, 03:15 PM   #25
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Thanks everyone for your contributions, I think we've gotten to the bottom of this.

Ahmen.
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