Author Topic: DIY oxygen absorbers  (Read 4845 times)

Offline creuzerm

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DIY oxygen absorbers
« on: January 18, 2009, 11:54:54 PM »
I have read at various places online that you can make your own oxygen absorbers using steel wool.

Now, I take everything I read with a grain of salt, in this case, a few table spoons.

I created a test to see if it will work.

I posted it to my blog http://mike.creuzer.com/2009/01/homemade-oxygen-absorbers-part-1.html, but the short of it is here.

I put 4 canning jars together, with 4 variations of the steel wool in them, dry, salted dry, wet, and salted wet.

The proof will be if any of these will cause the jar to seal as indicated by the pop-up lid. In removing the oxygen, causing the steel wool to rust, it should create a partial vacuum.



Anybody else try this? Have you done it in a way that has demonstrable results? It's easy to put some steel wool in your mylar and call it good, but could this be a false sense of security?

I will report back on my findings when I get some. Hopefully as soon as tomorrow. If they are unchanged by next weekend, I will call this a failure.

Any thoughts on how to improve this little experiment?
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Offline digger

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Re: DIY oxygen absorbers
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2009, 07:21:10 PM »
I think it looks great. An excellent way to test the theory. I'll be watching for the results.

Offline creuzerm

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Re: DIY oxygen absorbers
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2009, 07:40:11 PM »
Well, here is the 24 hour update.

Jar 1 - just the steel wool - No apparent change
Jar 2 - steel wool and water - the water is rusty, no apparent change to the actual steel wool. The lid didn't 'dent' in, however if I touch it, it will 'pop' in. Turning it upside down, the steel wool is enough to un-dent the lid.
Jar 3 - steel wool and salt - no apparent change
Jar 4 - The water is rusty and thick with salt. no apparent change in the steel wool. When I check the lid this morning, it was popped in. Turning the jar upside down will cause it to pop back out. Barely touching it will cause it to pop back in.

Interim analysis. The salt water does appear to cause the steel wool to rust faster, which is creating a slight reduced pressure in the jar.

Does anybody know if they oil, or otherwise treat the steel wool to prevent it from rusting on the shelf? It's evident it CAN rust, it just doesn't seem to want to.
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Offline Klonus

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Re: DIY oxygen absorbers
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2009, 09:21:52 PM »
Good idea thinking outside the box and finding home made solutions, but i think i'd rather not have rusty metal and saltwater in my food, lol.
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Offline mxitman

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Re: DIY oxygen absorbers
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2009, 11:53:43 PM »
it's common that some of the O2 absorbers are actually fine iron particles.
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I'd rather have it and not need it, than not have it when I do need it.

Offline union hill

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Re: DIY oxygen absorbers
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2009, 12:50:40 AM »
I wonder how similar common chemical handwarmer packets are to oxy absorbers... the handwarmers produce heat by oxidation and presumably they must absorb oxygen in the process. hmmm...

Offline Klonus

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Re: DIY oxygen absorbers
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2009, 03:29:15 PM »
I wonder how similar common chemical handwarmer packets are to oxy absorbers... the handwarmers produce heat by oxidation and presumably they must absorb oxygen in the process. hmmm...

try placing one in an airtight container and see if it works. It would be great if it does because it would turn those warmers into multi taskers. 
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Offline creuzerm

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Re: DIY oxygen absorbers
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2009, 12:08:35 AM »
OK, a long overdue followup to my experiment.

The 2 dry steel wool pads did not create enough of a change in air pressure to cause the lid of the canning jar to 'dent'. This means, that there wasn't a significant absorption of Oxygen.

The two 'wet' options both caused the jar lids to 'dent'. The salt water jar dented faster then the plain water jar did.
Both of these two wet trials created a muddy mess inside of the jar. Not acceptable for our purposes.

So, really, all 4 tests yielded an unacceptable result.

I did read reference somewhere that wetting the steel wool in vinegar would 'activate' the steel wool. That may be my next trial, a vinegar treated by 'dry' steel wool pad.
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