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Martin, Engineer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 4922
Experience:  i'm 41 and i never stopped studying and experimenting
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I want to know how to make my own oxygen absorbers for food

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I want to know how to make my own oxygen absorbers for food storage. The information I have found says use iron powder and salt in a coffee filter that is stapled shut. If the iron and salt are mixed immediately prior to use the moisture in the container results in the salt rusting the iron and the oxygen is used/bound to the iron. Any special salt or iron needed? Amounts for a one gallon container.   Ebay lists "30x50 grit FINE POWDER high purity Iron Oxide". Is this appropriate? The commercially available packets deteriorate when the bulk bag is opened and I want to mix the iron and salt immediately prior to use. Suggestions?

Hello Dennis, welcome to Just Answer.

For what application do you want to remove the oxygen? Your own food in the house or for shipping purpose? With iron, you will have a hard time to reach industrially made solution. The surface of the iron need to be really large. Also that is a one shot product.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
This is for home use not for shipping. One post I saw said to use hardware store 0000 steel wool. I understand that this reaction is not reversible. I don't know what you mean by "With iron, you will have a hard time to reach industrially made solution." Thanks for getting into this question.

I was referring to the surface of iron that come in contact with air, it's that value and not the "weight" of iron that will count (of course the weight still play a role at the number of iron atom is relative to it).

The easiest way i know to "remove" (because in all those case it's more neutralization than removal) is to use a small candle you could put with your food into a glass jar. Fire quickly consume all the oxygen (best is to put it the lowest possible in the jar as oxygen goes down).

In many application (but never used to ship food to consumer) is to get CO2 gaz or Nitrogen and purge the normal air out of the container with that.

All those method can be combined together. Aluminum powder might also be a good choice (it's easier to put in powder). To see how much aluminum like oxygen, take a look at this:

The salt for the iron is required as a catalyst because without it, food will oxidize before iron could react. Using a bit of sprayed moisture so the salt touch all the iron surface would help.
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