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I have asked this question in Beer, Wine & Spirits however I think the lack of chemists meant I received zero answers (two upvotes which was encouraging).

At the moment I and looking at ways of removing the oxygen from a small vessel (500cm3) of ambient air. My thought is that if I remove oxygen what's left behind is an inert mixture of gasses that can help to protect my wine. I have done some maths and if there is on average 20.95% oxygen in the air and 78.08% nitrogen, does this mean that if I completely remove oxygen then the percentage of nitrogen in the remaining gas mix increases to 98.7% (78.08/(100-20.95)? If not then can someone explain what I'm missing. If I can inject 98% nitrogen into my bottle of wine I'd be a happy chap.

If you need to know how I'm going to achieve this then it will be via an oxygen scavenger(s) placed within a sealed bag of ambient air.

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  • $\begingroup$ Then what you don't know? What O2 absorbing substance to use? $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Sep 25 '17 at 16:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithoron I know that gasses can be complicated, wondering if I am calculating these things correctly or if it really is as simple as subtracting O2 from the mix? $\endgroup$ – luke_mclachlan Sep 25 '17 at 16:16
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    $\begingroup$ Well, water vapor and CO2 also should be absorbed for if it's supposed to be inert. The problem is probably that you won't completely get rid of O2 with any chemical absorbent so it may or mayn't bee good enough. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Sep 25 '17 at 16:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithoron good point about the water vapour, though some studies have suggested a little co2 may be useful. I'm going to have to order a few scavengers and then find a way of accurately measuring oxygen levels. $\endgroup$ – luke_mclachlan Sep 25 '17 at 17:08
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    $\begingroup$ I would think it's a lot cheaper to buy a tank of nitrogen than to use a scrubber for O2. Then just flush the container with nitrogen and it should be pretty close to an inert atmosphere for this purpose. $\endgroup$ – Zhe Sep 25 '17 at 17:43

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