University of California

Ask the Produce Docs (General)

Would/could ethylene gas in a walk-in floral refrigerator cause an explosion?

  • Ethylene

I'm writing a mystery novel and I'm trying to figure out if ethylene gas in a walk-in floral refrigerator would/could cause an explosion. Thank you. (C.G.)


No.... the explosive limits for ethylene in air are 3.8% - 38%. In a floral cooler we try to keep ethylene concentration below 0.05 ppm, which is 0.00005% and would never expect to see more than 2 ppm (0.0002%). However, if your villain could be in a banana ripening room, where we add ethylene to accelerate ripening, an explosion is possible (and has caused occasional loss of life).

-Michael Reid

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