# Can solvents like 99.9% isopropyl alcohol and/or n-hexane be “carbonated” with CO2?

I'm working on a prototype for a new machine, and I'm trying to get solvents like $99.9\%$ isopropyl alcohol or n-hexane to be carbonated like a soda pop at cold temperatures. I have the machines and everything for it I just want to make sure I'm not going to explode or anything.

• Not sure how much $\ce{CO2}$ will dissolve in isopropyl alcohol or n-hexane, or what you are trying to do. The obvious safety concern is that both of those liquids are flammable. So a rupture in a pressurized container could spew a spray of flammable liquid which could ignite from some ignition source in the room. Such a spray would basically create a fuel vapor bomb (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermobaric_weapon) or a BLEVE (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_liquid_expanding_vapor_explosion). – MaxW Nov 13 '16 at 3:54
• Well, one of the reason sodas behave nicely while carbonated is because the dioxide is in fact carbonic acid and escapes the liquid calmy and orderly (or "effervescence" as they call it) because there is a chemical reaction happening. I am not sure how the CO2 would behave in other solvents, the dissolution can happen quite immediately (as is the case in sodas if you create nucleation sites by shaking or adding fine/microporous particles) and this can, as MaxW hints at, have catastrophic consequences. – Stian Yttervik Mar 7 '17 at 12:23

The following are published[1] solubilities of $\ce{CO2}$ in several organic solvents at 1 atm and $\mathrm{20^oC}$. Solubilities are given in mL/g:

acetone: 8.2
ethanol: 3.6
benzene: 2.7
methanol: 4.1
toluene: 3.0
xylene: 2.3
heptane: 2.8
methyl acetate: 7.4
diethyl ether: 6.3

For reference, the solubility of $\ce{CO2}$ in water is about 0.9 mL/g under the same conditions.

1) Topham S et al; Carbon Dioxide. Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. 7th ed. (1999-2015). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons