Special Ops Paintball: Is CO2 that bad? - Special Ops Paintball

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Is CO2 that bad? Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   pvt Johnson 

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 03:22 PM

I've been seeing more and more post about people switching to HPA tanks because CO2 tanks are bad for the environment. It's obvious why they say it is bad, but it made me wonder exactly how the CO2 is obtained. I would like to know because if CO2 is extracted from the air somehow, than it can't be very harmful as using CO2 tanks would only be returning the CO2 back into the atmosphere. If someone could shed some light on this subject, it would be much appreciated.
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#2 User is offline   agentM192 

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 03:24 PM

People refrain from C02 because of its poor performance in cold and inability to use with electronic guns. C02 emissions from paintball guns is hardly an enviormental concern. It comes from somewhere, its really just being harnessed.
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#3 User is offline   Puzuma 

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 03:41 PM

CO2 is also considered a dirty gas. Because it cools as it expands it can create ice crystals that can get into the marker and cause scratches and performance problems. If a large enough amount of CO2 expands too rapidly (burst disc blows due to over pressurizing) and comes in contact with bare skin you can get frostbite.

As for environmentally.... It's debatable.

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Carbon dioxide is obtained commercially from four sources: gas wells, fermentation, combustion of carbonaceous fuels, and as a by-product of chemical processing. Applications include use as a refrigerant, in either solid or liquid form, inerting medium, chemical reactant, neutralizing agent for alkalies, and pressurizing agent.

Most CO2 is obtained as a by-product from steam-hydrocarbon reformers used in the production of ammonia, gasoline, and other chemicals; other sources include fermentation, deep gas wells, and direct production from carbonaceous fuels. Whatever the source, the crude CO2 (containing at least 90% CO2) is compressed in either two or three stages, cooled, purified, condensed to the liquid phase, and placed in insulated storage vessels. Carbon dioxide is distributed in three ways; in high-pressure uninsulated steel cylinders; as a low-pressure liquid in insulated truck trailers or rail tank cars; and as dry ice in insulated boxes, trucks, or boxcars.


Some think that it's bad to be putting it into the atmosphere, others think that we've taken it and we're putting it back with no consequences. No one has actually done a study on it as far as I know.
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#4 User is offline   pvt Johnson 

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 03:42 PM

View PostagentM192, on May 20 2009, 04:24 PM, said:

People refrain from C02 because of its poor performance in cold and inability to use with electronic guns. C02 emissions from paintball guns is hardly an enviormental concern. It comes from somewhere, its really just being harnessed.



I recognize the problems of using CO2 rather than HPA, but CO2 tanks are getting a bad rep for being environmentally unfriendly. I've seen people stop using CO2 tanks simply because they don't like shooting pure CO2 into the atmosphere. I just want to know if CO2 tanks are being harmful or not. I realize that it may not be very significant but some people are cutting pollution in every little way possible.

This post has been edited by pvt Johnson: 20 May 2009 - 03:45 PM

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#5 User is offline   Piller 

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 03:47 PM

The environmental effects form paintball CO2 are incredibly small. It would be like saying its bad to drink soda pop. You likely put several times more CO2 into the air driving to your paintball field than you do actually playing.

I can't remember exactly how CO2 is made, But if I remember correctly, it involves crushing and pressurizing limestore or something like that. At least that was an old fashioned way. Its probably predominately done through a chemical process now. Wikipedia has a section on industrial production: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxid...rial_production

As for paintball use, I'm one of the minority who prefer it. It is true that most electronic markers cannot use it, and liquid poses a problem for markers that are not built for it. However, it does have its advantages. Its naturally regulating, and is stable at a lower pressure. The tanks can be made lighter, thinner, and cheaper. A nice slim 9oz tank makes for a very comfortable stock. They also hold more shots relative to their size. Depending on where you are, CO2 fills are often cheaper. It's only about $2 for a 9oz fill which lasts me all day. Most air tank fills start around $3-$5 and are usually at least $5 for all day air. If the marker is made for it, there are also no performance sacrifices. Palmer's Blazers are a perfect example. The marker is capable of handling CO2, and the marker works a pressure which makes it very difficult for liquid CO2 to exist. You can shoot all you want no matter how cold it is and there is always enough pressure in the tank to get a shot off. With a regulator its just as consistent at HPA. Likewise, blowback markers like Montneels and CVX valved Tippmanns can run on straight liquid from a siphon tank. Since the valve is taking in a certain volume of liquid rather than gas at a pressure, it is also as consistent as HPA. The cool thing about liquid fed markers is that the colder it gets the better it works. Liquid CO2 isn't the dirty gas a lot of people think it is. It gets a bad rep because people don't handle CO2 correctly. CO2 will be inconsistent if you shoot a lot of paint with a plain setup. It will also be inconsistent if you don't have your tank and gear the same temperature as what you are playing in - like if the tank was chilled from being recently filled.

It's not for everyone, but for those who like its benefits it can fit perfectly. HPA isn't the end all gas, and CO2 definitely isn't leaving paintball. But then again, I've always been a fan of old technology. I sill like old CRT Television, old style Tube Guitar Amps, Film Cameras etc.
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#6 User is offline   Nelos 

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 03:53 PM

You can't go wrong with a HPA air tank, regardless if it's bad for the environment or not. I used my new tank this weekend, and I am very pleased with it thus far. It's much safer than the CO2, more reliable, and, hey, if it really is easier on the environment then that's three for three.

View PostPiller, on May 20 2009, 03:47 PM, said:

The environmental effects form paintball CO2 are incredibly small. It would be like saying its bad to drink soda pop. You likely put several times more CO2 into the air driving to your paintball field than you do actually playing.


Um... When you take into consideration that soda pop today is made out of high fructose corn syrup, and not pure sugar cane, it is bad for you.

This post has been edited by Nelos: 20 May 2009 - 03:55 PM

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#7 User is offline   Soul Fly 

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 04:03 PM

You should take High school Chem.

No wonder I don't post here..
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#8 User is offline   Puzuma 

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 04:05 PM

View PostNelos, on May 20 2009, 06:53 PM, said:

Um... When you take into consideration that soda pop today is made out of high fructose corn syrup, and not pure sugar cane, it is bad for you.

First I think he meant in regards to the CO2 released. Second, high fructose corn syrup is no worse for you than cane sugar, it's just cheaper to produce.

As for HPA vs CO2, what's actually better depends on what marker you use, where you play and how. CO2 gets more shots per volume than HPA. A 68/4500 HPA tank on an average marker will get you about 1020 shots. A 20 oz CO2 tank is about 1100. With HPA you can buy a higher pressure rated tank and under fill it, 4500psi tank filled to 3000psi, but you don't get the full benefit if your field can't give you a proper fill, a 68ci tank at 3000psi is only about 680 shots.
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#9 User is offline   Puzuma 

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 04:15 PM

View PostSoul Fly, on May 20 2009, 07:03 PM, said:

You should take High school Chem.

No wonder I don't post here..

Perhaps you shouldn't post at all. Gee whiz! I almost forgot I can fix that for you!

Warned.
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#10 User is offline   Piller 

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 04:16 PM

Yea, I was referring to the CO2 in sodas. Every fast food place, bar, or place that serves drinks from a fountain has as much or more CO2 tanks than a paintball store/field. They just aren't siphon tanks.

High fructose corn syrup isn't really any worse for you, unless you practice eating kosher. Pure cane sugar soda definitely tastes better. However, most main sodas haven't been made with cane sugar since before WWII. Even a product that says its made with real sugar, unless they specifically say "Cane" sugar, is usually made with sugar beet - another cheaper alternative.
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#11 User is offline   Minnesota Sn1p3r 

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 10:03 AM

The reason that some people say that CO2 is bad is because someone told them that HPA is better. Most players will tell you that it is a dirty gas and thats correct! CO2 is quite simple really, its 1 Carbon Molecule mixed with 2 Oxygen molecules, and thats it, THATS CO2! The reason that its a dirty gas is because of the carbon. The carbon will seperate from the air and coat the internals of your gun. Everyone says, "CO2 is bad for the environment", wrong. We exhale CO2 into the air, I acctualy saw one post on this forum that shunned all paintball players for using CO2, the post kept saying that,"Paintball players are ruining the O-Zone" and "Paintball players are destroying the earth!", this made me giggle :P , its not just CO2 that bad for the ozone, its a variety of other chemicals.

So, to answer your question plainly: The reason that CO2 ins't as good as HPA is because its dirty, not alot of players want dirty guns. You may also see a difference in consistency, accuracy, and power.


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#12 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 10:14 AM

View PostMinnesota Sn1p3r, on May 22 2009, 12:03 PM, said:

The reason that its a dirty gas is because of the carbon. The carbon will seperate from the air and coat the internals of your gun.


huh?

Carbon dioxide is part (very small part, but it's there) of what's in HPA.

HPA stands for High Pressure Air, or basically air that has been compressed to the pressure needed.

What's in HPA, then? It's about 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 1% others, including carbon dioxide.

There's nothing wrong with CO2 as a gas in paintball - the problem is CO2 in the tank is actually kept in a liquid state, and impurities (non-CO2) can be passed along. That's why it's a "dirty" propellant -- it's not the CO2.

The other reason CO2 can be harmful is the liquid CO2 is very cold and can damage plastic parts or orings in a marker.
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#13 User is offline   The Stuntman 

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 10:23 AM

Never mind the environment, HPA is just more efficient for most paintball purposes. I still use CO2 for some of my older guns, but most of the time HPA is better. Less velocity variation from temperature differences/greater shot consistancy, easier to fill tanks (no such thing as self serve CO2 fills), and less wear & tear on gun internals. Overall just a better deal.
Nothing wrong with CO2...HPA is just better 90% of the time.


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The carbon will seperate from the air and coat the internals of your gun.

Ummm...not really. Carbon dioxide does not naturally seperate - its a very stable molecule.
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#14 User is offline   Puzuma 

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 10:46 AM

Perhaps Minnesota Sn1p3r is thinking of REAL guns?
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#15 User is offline   Digital Pirate 

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 03:53 PM

CO2 is also given off by cellular respiration. So stop living if you want to help the environment. :D
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