[NAFEX] Green Bags revisited

Stephen Sadler Docshiva at Docshiva.org
Sun Sep 20 15:15:03 EDT 2009

Zeolite will absorb odors and water, but isn't the part that neutralizes the
ethylene.  That would be the KMoO4 that the zeolite is coated with in those
green products.  

You can recharge the zeolite with heat, and it will absorb odors and water
(reduce humidity) again.  Heat restores the zeolite's function by expelling
the things it absorbed - like wringing water out of a sponge.  The KMnO4,
however, is transformed as it combines with the ethylene and water.  You get
manganese dioxide, acetaldehyde, and potassium hydroxide. Even before you
could think of whether this reaction is completely reversible, the
acetaldehyde will react with remaining potassium permanganate and water to
make acetic acid; then the acetic acid will combine with KMnO4 to make
manganese dioxide, potassium hydroxide, water, and carbon dioxide. This
chain of reactions is irreversible.  The ethylene isn't absorbed, it's used
up, and so is the potassium permanganate.  The containers will stop working.

~ Stephen

-----Original Message-----
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Steve
Sent: Sunday, September 20, 2009 7:50 AM
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Green Bags revisited

> Steve asked, "After you use the containers for a while, do they get 
> saturated with ethylene and become unable to absorb more?"

Jim Fruth wrote:
>     According to what I have learned is that the active ingredient in
> Bags and Green Containers is zeolite, a volcanic mineral that absorbs
> including ethylene.  When the zeolite becomes saturated with a gas, it can

> be regenerated/restored by putting it in sunshine for 8 hours or in a 200 
> degree oven for an hour.

So, do the the directions tell you that, when you buy the bags or other 
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