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I'm building a pressure chamber with some basic brass plumbing parts and a cylinder of CO2. The goal here is to infuse fruit with CO2.

I'm aware of the various safety aspects to consider since the system is under pressure. I had intended to use PVC for the chamber along with PVC cement to bond the plastic pieces. The setup is that the fruit would be placed inside the chamber in a food safe bowl, and CO2 would be injected into the chamber at around 45-60 psi. For reference, a soda bottle at room temperature is ~60psi.

PVC has a smell to it, and I was wondering if there are any food safety issues in using PVC in this way?

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    Home water pipe quality PVC ought to be alright from a toxicity standpoint. I'd worry about glued seals blowing at 4 atmospheres pressure. Also pipe itself rupturing. For safety, I'd build the whole thing inside a, leaky, stainless kettle. That'd serve as a blast baffle. Jul 28, 2020 at 22:54
  • Thanks for the info. Yup, there will definitely be an outer container for safety, as well as a release valve. Safety is the most important thing.
    – blueether
    Jul 28, 2020 at 23:05
  • If the PVC (including the seals) is rated for water pressure, it should also be able to sustain gas pressure, although not explicitly rated for it. On the other hand, the damage in case of a failure is much greater with a gas than with an (incompressible) liquid. Jul 29, 2020 at 8:12

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I would advise against your approach, as you are potentially building something that could explode and seriously injure someone. If you have an ISI (or other brand) whipper, you can do this safely. Alternatively, you can use dry ice and a Styrofoam cooler for the same effect.

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"Hard" PVC (without plasticizers) should not have an appreciable smell to it, so maybe you can find an alternative source for the PVC you want to use if you are concerned.

However, you are probably only intending to keep the fruit in your pressure chamber for a short time, there is no direct contact between the fruit and the PVC, and you are working at elevated pressures (thus reducing the tendency of whatever smelly compound to evaporate into the chamber).

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