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Old 04-14-2008, 11:16 AM
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Default homemade oxygen absorbers



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has any1 heard of this trick on makeing home made oxygen absorbers you get metal(steel) filings (powder like) mix it with salt (seasalt perfered) put this mixture into a instant coffee filter seal it very good and put it in the cantainer you want the oxygen out of and the salt will make the metal rust and this action absorbs oxygen to do it. it will make a vaccum seal if the container is air tight.
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Old 04-14-2008, 11:37 AM
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I haven't heard of it before. But if it works it would be a great thing to know for food storage after tshtf, when the oxygen absorbers would be difficult to obtain.
Old 04-14-2008, 11:47 AM
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i was also wondering about this. I picked up a mountain house freeze dried meal (chili mac--no too bad IMHO) and inside was one of those little packets. it said oxygen obsorber. it also said that it was made of iron oxide. this must be what the "metal filings" you are talking about are.

so i cracked it open and it definitely was not just the iron oxide so you, well, we (i want to know too :D) need to find out what else goes in it.

as far as iron oxide, i know you can get (at least 1lb) quantities at ceramic stores. they use it for glazing i believe. but since there are a number of different iron oxides it would be worth a little more research to find out if the kind they sell is the kind you use.

let us know and ill try and do some of my own research soon too.
thanks
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Old 04-14-2008, 03:15 PM
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Thats really handy to know guys.
You could make these up and tape it to the lid in a bucket of flour or rice to stop weevils growing it there.
Old 04-14-2008, 04:03 PM
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Steel wool might be the way to go with the salt additive. It does oxidise very quickly very very little moisture.
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Old 12-11-2010, 07:38 AM
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i believe it could be just the fillings and salt, in my mind it will work, but had anyone found out another way to do it?
Old 12-11-2010, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kid_Molasses View Post
i was also wondering about this. I picked up a mountain house freeze dried meal (chili mac--no too bad IMHO) and inside was one of those little packets. it said oxygen obsorber. it also said that it was made of iron oxide. this must be what the "metal filings" you are talking about are.

so i cracked it open and it definitely was not just the iron oxide so you, well, we (i want to know too :D) need to find out what else goes in it.

as far as iron oxide, i know you can get (at least 1lb) quantities at ceramic stores. they use it for glazing i believe. but since there are a number of different iron oxides it would be worth a little more research to find out if the kind they sell is the kind you use.

let us know and ill try and do some of my own research soon too.
thanks
Kid_M
Iron oxide is already saturated with O2. That's what the oxide part means. They're based on iron and salt. They turn into iron oxide by the oxidation process and that's what removes the O2 from the head space gas.

Steel wool might work if it's degreased first. It is packaged with a rust proofing oil that needs to be removed. But I think that iron powder is probably the better choice, since it has to mix evenly with the salt and I don't know how one would achieve that with steel wool without chopping it up finely.
Old 12-11-2010, 12:51 PM
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This is the same reaction that happens in hand warmers. Why not just throw a couple of them in?
Old 12-11-2010, 01:06 PM
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You just made yourself hand warmers, not O2 absorbers. And metal filing don't work (I tried it) because the particles are too big. You have to buy iron dust. Which is more expensive than hand warmers anyway.
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Old 12-11-2010, 01:27 PM
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This is the same reaction that happens in hand warmers. Why not just throw a couple of them in?
There are differences. For example, the traditional handwarmers don't work well in low O2 conditions. This is why they ended up inventing the boot and glove warmers, so that they'll function in the low O2 environments of boots and gloves. They aren't designed to remove O2 down to the lowest amount possible. They're designed to make heat. Repurposing them just doesn't make sense to me.

This is the same concern I have with handmade versions. Sure, the oxidation process will remove some O2. But how much? These can apparently be designed to react differently, so how will our handmade ones react? Will they remove enough O2 to actually preserve foods? I don't like the idea of risking my supplies on an unknown. Though if they're all I had, I guess I wouldn't have a choice.
Old 12-11-2010, 04:28 PM
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Day 4 of the P.A.W.

"Dude" that thought he was slick and could reinvent the wheel opens a bucket of rice he packed himself. He heard people that had never packed more than a dozen buckets or who had stored food more than a couple years tell him that all sorts of stupid things would work including lime, sheetrock dust, "little sacks of rice sewed up as oxygen absorbers" (don't ask, I dunno), handwarmers, etc.

He opens up the bucket to find the food went bad. He opens a few more buckets and finds similar results.

He wishes he hadn't "stepped over a dollar to pick up a dime" and used the very inexpensive PROPER materials (oxygen absorbers and mylar liners) to put his food up. He kicks himself for wasting hundreds of dollars in food trying to save a buck or two.

Worse than this, his family is now SOL due to his poor planning.

Don't be "dude"

www.bucketpacking.com
www.howtopackfood.com
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Old 12-11-2010, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by survive View Post
This is the same reaction that happens in hand warmers. Why not just throw a couple of them in?
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
There are differences. For example, the traditional handwarmers don't work well in low O2 conditions. This is why they ended up inventing the boot and glove warmers, so that they'll function in the low O2 environments of boots and gloves. They aren't designed to remove O2 down to the lowest amount possible. They're designed to make heat. Repurposing them just doesn't make sense to me.

This is the same concern I have with handmade versions. Sure, the oxidation process will remove some O2. But how much? These can apparently be designed to react differently, so how will our handmade ones react? Will they remove enough O2 to actually preserve foods? I don't like the idea of risking my supplies on an unknown. Though if they're all I had, I guess I wouldn't have a choice.
Though I agree with most of your views, I personally still think that toe and glove warmers are fine for food storage. If you recall this thread a earlier this year, Wevie was able to do a test with o2 absorbers and toe warmers at work with his o2 sensor equiptment.

The toe warmer droped the oxygen level to under 1% in a few hours.

If proof was needed, that was certainly enough to satisfy me.

Here is the post:
http://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...8&postcount=61

Here is the entire thread:
http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=99140
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Old 12-11-2010, 04:54 PM
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It should work in theory, even without salt, if using iron dust as mentioned. The poster who said OA's were Iron Oxide is correct; however oxide means bonded with oxygen, not necessarily oxidized, which is the reaction of the absorbers to moisture and oxygen (ie. rusting). This reaction is what removes the oxygen, as well as causes heat as a by-product.
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicdotcom View Post
Though I agree with most of your views, I personally still think that toe and glove warmers are fine for food storage. If you recall this thread a earlier this year, Wevie was able to do a test with o2 absorbers and toe warmers at work with his o2 sensor equiptment.

The toe warmer droped the oxygen level to under 1% in a few hours.

If proof was needed, that was certainly enough to satisfy me.

Here is the post:
http://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...8&postcount=61

Here is the entire thread:
http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=99140
I do remember that and I was impressed by his test and the results. But I'm far more likely to trust something designed specifically for the job that has been tested even more thoroughly. I don't distrust his results, but they were only a limited test in comparison.

Now, if the O2 absorbers were hugely expensive and the toe warmers were dirt cheap, I may be tempted to lean more towards that direction. But since O2 absorbers are cheap and the toe warmers aren't that much cheaper, I just sleep better at night knowing that I did it right for sure, rather than hoping I did.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:17 PM
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the Anasazi didn't have oxygen absorbers and mylar, but their beans stayed in tack and pottery jars buried in utah desert for a 1000 years or more. same with the wheat found in the pyramids buried with the pharaohs. i know we don't want to screw up, but frugality is an issue with many of us...
Old 12-22-2012, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
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the Anasazi didn't have oxygen absorbers and mylar, but their beans stayed in tack and pottery jars buried in utah desert for a 1000 years or more. same with the wheat found in the pyramids buried with the pharaohs. i know we don't want to screw up, but frugality is an issue with many of us...
And those beans may have had rancid oils and little to no nutrition also.

For those living in similar climates, with dry cool caves to store their food in, perhaps proper storage wouldn't be an issue. If you notice, every time they find centuries old food that didn't rot, it was always in a super dry desert and buried or entombed. I think O2 absorbers and mylar are cheaper. And they protect foods that wouldn't last otherwise such as powdered eggs or milk.

But I've come to realize that someone else's survival is of no consequence to me, so I don't care how they choose to pack their own foods. Just don't go trying to encourage others to risk their lives to do it. We owe people more accurate information than that.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cryptkeeper View Post
has any1 heard of this trick on makeing home made oxygen absorbers you get metal(steel) filings (powder like) mix it with salt (seasalt perfered) put this mixture into a instant coffee filter seal it very good and put it in the cantainer you want the oxygen out of and the salt will make the metal rust and this action absorbs oxygen to do it. it will make a vaccum seal if the container is air tight.
I understands how it absorbs oxygen and therefore preserves the contents but how does it creat a vacuum? The nitrogen and other gasses will still be there. Or, have I forgotten my chemistry?
Old 12-22-2012, 09:53 PM
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I understands how it absorbs oxygen and therefore preserves the contents but how does it creat a vacuum? The nitrogen and other gasses will still be there. Or, have I forgotten my chemistry?
Assuming it's as effective as a proper O2 absorber (extremely unlikely) it can create a 21% vacuum because O2 is 21% of the volume of air. When that is removed, The inert gasses take up less than 80% of the volume, resulting in a bit of a vacuum.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cryptkeeper View Post
has any1 heard of this trick on makeing home made oxygen absorbers you get metal(steel) filings (powder like) mix it with salt (seasalt perfered) put this mixture into a instant coffee filter seal it very good and put it in the cantainer you want the oxygen out of and the salt will make the metal rust and this action absorbs oxygen to do it. it will make a vaccum seal if the container is air tight.




it's an over-statement to say a "vacuum seal" is created ..... the vacuum created by 02 absorbers is so slight that it barely registers .... the magnum of seal is a physical one between the bucket designed rim and the locking feature of the gasketed lid ..... there is decades of engineering refinements involved in the current industry standard bucket/lid combo .....
Old 12-23-2012, 11:46 AM
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Given that one would need iron dust, I see this as non-viable for the post-SHTF and other major scenarios that would warrant it. O2 absorbers are simply too affordable, barring an economic disaster.

If the world goes to hell in a handbasket, you won't find me trying to make iron bits for food storage. You will find me drying foods, canning, making pemmican and other traditionally shelf-stable products, and using a Foodsaver vacuum attachment. Food stored after SHTF won't be saved for extreme periods. Traditional methods should suffice.

Nothing against trying to do this from a pure academic standpoint, but I don't see any practical use. What we store now may have to last several years. What we store after a collapse, perhaps a year or two. Most of a year's food storage would be consumed in the following winter. Traditional methods seem more viable and more realistic. They also require no challenging inputs, only knowledge.
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