Fermentation and bottling rooms in a brewery need special control as they are areas of increased hazard to the health of employees. During both of these processes, there is a risk of generating Сarbon Dioxide (CO2) and Nitrogen (N2) concentrations that exceed the allowable values:
CO2: 5 000 ppm (TWA) and 40 000 ppm (STEL);
N2: asphyxiant at <19.5% of Oxygen (PEL).
First of all, it is worth noting that CO2 is produced naturally during fermentation. It can also be present in a brewery as additive for inerting the atmosphere in containers and force carbonation of beer.
Carbon Dioxide is colorless and odorless, which means that invisible leaks from fermentation vessels or from gas distributors at bottling can cause toxic concentrations to accumulate. That is why use of fixed gas detectors is a mandatory measure for continuous and reliable CO2 monitoring in breweries.
Nitrogen in brewing is used according to the same principles as CO2 - inerting and forced carbonation. N2 also helps to pump beer into casks or kegs for further storage and transportation.
Nitrogen is non-toxic, but as concentration increases, it displaces Oxygen (O2). This is dangerous because it can lead to asphyxiation due to lack of O2. Nitrogen gas cannot be detected on its own because it is inert and does not react with other substances. Therefore, a reliable solution is constantly monitoring Oxygen level in a room using gas detectors.
At Evikon MCI we offer a range of instruments for both CO2 and O2 measurements as well as a light module EK30 for visual and sound alarms to warn people about hazardous concentrations both inside and outside a room. Please see the Featured Products section below to learn more about each of the products.
In this article, you can also read about what needs to be considered when detecting Ammonia in refrigeration systems of the beverage industry.