J. Wojciechowski
Catalytic combustion of ethylene by the Swingtherm reversion method allows control of ethylene concentration on a desired level. Various types of the Swingtherm ethylene converters have been described as well as effects of their application in short- and long- term storage of fruit and vegetables. Particularly good effect has been observed in storages for kiwi fruit and cucumbers. The paper presents also approximate costs of ethylene removal with the Swingtherm method.

A detrimental effect of ethylene on horticultural crops is widely known and there is rich literature concerning the subject. Positive effects of the ethylene removal from atmosphere surrounding the crops have been also described. There is however little information on practical methods of the ethylene removal from large commercial storages and financial advantages gained at its application.

Catalytic oxidation of ethylene has found as it seems the widest use in the ethylene removal from the large commercial storages. Ethylene can be removed from air - as any other hydrocarbon - by oxidising it at the surface of an appropriate catalyst according to the reaction:

ethylene + oxygen -------> water + carbon dioxide

The reaction occurs over platinum (1) or oxide (2) catalysts at temperatures between 200 and 300 °C.

Wojciechowski (3), Dilley (4), Blanpied (5), Dover (6) attempted to modify typical techniques of the catalytic gas combustion to the ethylene removal from the fruit storages. There is however no information on wider application of these techniques in the practice.

A novel catalytic gas purification process called “Swingtherm” worked out at the Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry,

Wojciechowski, J. (1989). ETHYLENE REMOVAL FROM GASES BY MEANS OF CATALYTIC COMBUSTION. Acta Hortic. 258, 131-142
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1989.258.13

Acta Horticulturae