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Old 02-02-2012, 11:35 AM   #1
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The danger from catalytic heaters

Found this on another forum today and am passing it along. I always assumed the danger was from the Carbon Monoxide (CO) build-up. According to this report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission the real danger is oxygen depletion.

Quote:
When the catalytic heater was operated in a closed room (ACH ~ 0), the oxygen was depleted
from an ambient concentration of 20.9 percent to 8.8 percent. Because the catalytic heater can
deplete the O2 concentration to such low levels, the heater poses a serious risk of hypoxia. The
degree of hypoxia is further exacerbated by the moderate CO concentration and by an increase in
the carbon dioxide concentration that accompanied the depletion of oxygen.

As the oxygen decreased in the chamber, the catalytic heater became less effective at converting
the propane and oxygen to carbon dioxide and water vapor. This was reflected by an increase in
the hydrocarbon concentration in the chamber, which ranged from 1,050 ppm to 13,440 ppm (5 to
64 percent of the lower explosion limit of propane in air). The unreacted propane further
increases the degree of hypoxia.
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Old 02-04-2012, 04:02 PM   #2
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Re: The danger from catalytic heaters

i don't know about closed rooms and heaters,never have slept in any room with a heater without cracking a window or 2 (lived in Idaho for a lot of years so know about cold!)
in regards to a catalytic heater in a van,camper,motorhome,etc we have always used one,i would assume that most people that go out of their way to hook up a catalytic are aware that to safely
use one you would always crack at least 1 window and the roof vent.this will assure that you have a needed air exchange.
as my wife and i are very lite sleepers we never sleep with the furnace on (if we are in a rig that has one)that is the main reason we use a catalytic if we feel its cold enough to use additional heat.
i think the one we still use,just switching it from vehicle to vehicle must be at least 30 years old and
still works as good as it did new.
just my thoughts on this subject,do not except every one to agree!
drive slow and enjoy "its the journey"
Les,lqhikers
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