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Why a crisis over power prices caused panic about CO2 supplies By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – A label describing the CO2 cylinder used in a fizzy drink machine is found on packaging of the CO2 cylinder. This was taken in Manchester, UK, September 20, 2021. REUTERS/Phil Noble

By Nigel Hunt

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain struck a deal with a major producer of fertiliser and carbon dioxide on Tuesday to restart two plants which had halted operations due to soaring prices for .

Fears that production could stop within days had led to the closing of several plants.


Food and beverage is the biggest user of carbon dioxide. The gas can be found in many beverages, including soft drinks and beer.

It’s used in the meat industry to kill animals before they are slaughtered. Bakers use the gas to prolong the shelf life of cakes and crumpets.

There are many uses for the gas other than food and drinks. It is also used in medicine to perform a variety of operations, including non-invasive surgeries as well as wart removal.

For example, the use of it to cool down nuclear reactors is a major consumer.


Some fertilisers and other biofuels use carbon dioxide as a byproduct.

The largest carbon dioxide sources in Britain are CF Fertilisers UK in Billingham, northeast England, and Ince in North-West England.


The carbon dioxide produced by fertilisers is sold to gas companies, such as Linde (NYSE.) and Air Liquide. These companies purify the carbon dioxide before it’s distributed to end-users.

A mixture of spot and contract sales is used to sell carbon dioxide.


Due to rising natural gas prices, CF Fertilisers halted the production of two British fertiliser plants.

According to reports, carbon dioxide suppliers did not schedule beyond 24 hours ahead due to this shortage.

Fears that production could stop quickly arose because not all consumers had enough gas for the required time.

UK strikes deal for CO2 producer CF to restart operations

Britain may give state loans to energy companies as gas prices surge

[16:37] Boyle, Jonathan A. (Reuters)


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