Britain Running Out of Industrial CO2

Sept. 20, 2021
British food producers, especially meat processors are warning of a new source of trouble in production: low supplies of carbon dioxide.

British food producers, especially meat processors are warning of a new source of trouble in production: low supplies of carbon dioxide.

A major source of industrial COis fertilizer production; as plants convert natural gas into fertilizer, they produce COas a byproduct, which is captured and converted to industrial use. Carbon dioxide is used in several ways in food production: to stun animals, as an alternative refrigerant, to cool meat and other foods during processing, and to replace oxygen in modified-atmosphere packaging.

The problem is that as natural gas becomes more expensive and in demand, it is diverted to uses other than fertilizer production. Two British fertilizer plants have stopped running because they can’t get enough gas, which severely affects the supply of industrial CO2.

The major problem with the CO2 situation in the UK is that slaughterhouses that depend on COto slaughter chickens and other animals humanely. The head of the British Poultry Council told the BBC that “no COmeans no throughput.” British industry leaders have been having emergency talks with government officials on the issue.

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