1982-02-01

A Flow-System Comparison of the Reactivities of Calcium Superoxide and Potassium Superoxide with Carbon Dioxide and Water Vapor 820873

Superoxides can be used in self-contained, emergency self-rescuers, both as sources of chemically stored oxygen and as carbon dioxide scrubbers. In the work described here, a single-pass flow-system test facility was employed to evaluate the reactivity of calcium superoxide, Ca(O2)2, with respiratory gases (H2O,CO2), in concentrations simulating exhaled breath. When compared with commercial preparations of potassium superoxide, KO2, 55–60% Ca(O2)2 was found to evolve oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide at significantly lower rates under conditions where each of the superoxides was reacted with 5% CO2 streams having dew points of 37°C. Whereas O2 evolution and CO2 absorption occurred simultaneously in the case of KO2 beds, CO2 absorption lagged O2 evolution when beds of Ca(O2)2 were reacted with moisture and CO2. It is postulated that hydration of the calcium hydroxide, Ca(OH)2, and calcium peroxide, CaO2, formed as a product of the Ca(O2)2 − H2O reaction, is necessary to the reactivity of Ca(O2)2 preparations with CO2.

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