Transporting (Shipping) of CO2 Cylinders

Catalina Cylinders recommends that anyone transporting CO2 cylinders should be aware of the hazards associated with CO2 and be trained in safe practices of transporting CO2 cylinders. All practices of transporting CO2 cylinders must be in compliance with and ought to include or reference information from 49 CFR 173.302; General Requirements  For Shipment of Compressed Gases in Cylinders and Spherical Pressure Vessels,  49 CFR 173.304; Charging of Cylinders With Liquefied Compressed Gas, and  CGA pamphlet G-6.3; Carbon Dioxide Cylinder Filling and Handling Procedures. Catalina Cylinders  has compiled the following list of items that should be included in all safe practices of transporting CO2 cylinders.

  1. Never transport a filled CO2 cylinder in a passenger vehicle.
  2. Cylinders should never be transported in an  enclosed vehicle unless the driver is separated from the cargo by a gas tight barrier.
  3. Cylinders should be transported in a  continuously cool place. Do not transport cylinders adjacent to any source of heat,  intermittent or continuous. Safety relief devices of CO2 cylinders are designed to  operate when the pressure of the cylinder exceeds 2800 – 3000 psi (depending on the  design of the safety relief device). A properly charged CO2 cylinder could vent through its safety  relief device at approximately 150 oF (65.6 oC). A slightly overfilled CO2 cylinder could vent through its safety relief  device when exposed to a much lower temperature. The CGA recommends that CO2 cylinders be stored in areas with a temperature less than 125 oF (51.7 oC).
  4. Do not transport a leaking cylinder.
  5. Damaged cylinders should only be transported without fill and marked “DAMAGED”.
  6. Empty CO2 cylinders should be transported with their valves tightly closed.
  7. Cylinders, which have been manufactured  to accommodate a carrying handle or a protective cap, should be transported  with these accessories in place. Do not transport cylinders with broken carrying handles.
  8. Cylinders can be transported standing  on their base or lying on their side. Catalina Cylinders recommends that the cylinders  be transported as designed, standing on their flat base. The CGA recommends  that cylinders that are shipped never be stacked on top of each other.
  9. All cylinders, after being loaded for transit,  when in transit, and when waiting for unloading after transit should be  secured by adequate means to protect the cylinders. The means of securing should be  sufficient to hold the cylinders in place, yet not cause damage to the cylinders.
  10. If a cylinder is determined to be leaking or venting CO2 while in transit:
    • Immediately pull the vehicle over  to the side of the road. Do not try to continue driving, or remain in, the vehicle  while the cylinder is leaking or venting. Inhalation of as little as 3% CO2 gas can cause uncomfortable physiological effects. Inhalations of large amounts of CO2 gas, 10% and above, can cause unconsciousness (in less than 1 minute) and possibly death.
    • Do not try to stop the cylinder from leaking or venting. Leaking or venting CO2 gas can cause frostbite.
    • Do not try removing a leaking or venting cylinder from a vehicle.

Including the above items in all practices for transporting CO2 cylinders should enhance the safety of all personnel, equipment and property.

Posted in: Carbon Dioxide