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CO EMISSIONS FROM A PORTABLE PROPANE

CATALYTIC HEATER












June 2003


Prepared By David R. Tucholski

Directorate for Laboratory Sciences

United States Consumer Product Safety Commission

Washington, D.C. 20207



i
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.................................................................................................................1
INTRODUCTION..............................................................................................................................3
Background....................................................................................................................................3
Catalytic Heaters.............................................................................................................................3
Voluntary Standards........................................................................................................................4
TEST EQUIPMENT AND SETUP......................................................................................................5
Heater Samples...............................................................................................................................5
Propane Gas...................................................................................................................................5
Test Chamber.................................................................................................................................5
Combustion Gas Sampling System...................................................................................................5
Temperature...................................................................................................................................6
Air Exchange Rate..........................................................................................................................6
Energy-Input Rate of Heater ............................................................................................................6
Data Acquisition.............................................................................................................................6
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE.......................................................................................................6
Emission Tests................................................................................................................................6
Long Term Testing .........................................................................................................................7
DATA ANALYSIS............................................................................................................................7
Air Exchange Rate..........................................................................................................................7
CO Generation Rate........................................................................................................................8
Energy Input Rate...........................................................................................................................8
Hydrocarbon Concentration.............................................................................................................8
RESULTS..........................................................................................................................................9
Emissions Tests..............................................................................................................................9
Long Term Testing ....................................................................................................................... 13
DISCUSSION.................................................................................................................................. 14
CO Emissions............................................................................................................................... 15
O
2
Depletion................................................................................................................................. 15
Hydrocarbon Emissions................................................................................................................. 17
Long Term Testing ....................................................................................................................... 18
CONCLUSIONS.............................................................................................................................. 18
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS................................................................................................................. 19
REFERENCES................................................................................................................................. 19
Appendix A. Summary Of Test Data................................................................................................. 21

1
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
In 2001, staff at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) began a project to
document the carbon monoxide (CO) emissions from small portable propane heaters, which are often
referred to as camp heaters. The objective of the project was to determine if the heaters complied with the
combustion requirements in the voluntary standard for Portable Type Gas Camp Heaters (ANSI Z21.63-
2000). The voluntary standard was revised in April 2000 to address the potential CO poisoning hazard
that can result when propane heaters are operated in small-enclosed areas that are poorly ventilated, such
as a tent.
Two types of heaters were tested as part of the project: infrared radiant heaters and catalytic
heaters. Catalytic heaters differ from infrared radiant heaters in that heat is generated from a flameless
catalytic reaction involving propane and oxygen. Although ANSI Z21.63 only applies to infrared radiant
camp heaters, a catalytic heater was included as part of the project since the catalytic heater was being
marketed for use inside tents and indoor areas. Between 1996 and June 2001, CPSC is aware of one CO
poisoning death associated with use of a catalytic heater in a confined space (Mah, 2001). This report
discusses the test results for the catalytic camp heater. Details of the test results for infrared radiant camp
heaters are discussed in a separate report titled, “CO Emissions from Portable Propane Radiant Heaters”
(Tucholski, 2002).
The voluntary standard applicable to catalytic camp heaters, ANSI Z21.62, Portable Catalytic
Camp Heaters for Use with Propane Gas, has been inactive since 1992. A new standard is currently
being written, and a draft of the standard was sent out for public review and comment on November 15,
2001. To date, the draft standard has not been adopted.
Although ANSI Z21.62 (draft) and ANSI Z21.63 (2000) both apply to gas-fired camp heaters,
each standard has different combustion requirements. The combustion test specified in ANSI Z21.62
(draft) is conducted by operating the heater in a closed room (i.e., a room with no air exchanges). The CO
concentration in the room cannot exceed 35 parts per million (ppm) when the oxygen (O
2
) is depleted to
19.4 percent and the CO cannot exceed 250 ppm when the O
2
is depleted to 15.1 percent. In addition, the
hydrocarbon concentration (measured as propane) cannot exceed 500 ppm when the O
2
is depleted to 19.4
percent. The combustion test specified in ANSI Z21.63 (2000) is conducted by operating the heater in a
100 ft
3
room at air exchange rates of 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 air changes per hour (ACH). During any part of the
test, the CO concentration in the room cannot exceed 100 ppm and the O
2
concentration cannot be
depleted below 16 percent. The test is conducted until equilibrium is reached or until the flame self
extinguishes.
At the time the project was conducted, CPSC staff was aware of only one manufacturer selling a
small catalytic heater for recreational use. This heater was designed for use with a disposable 1-pound
bottle of propane, which is typically used with camp heaters.
The combustion characteristics of the catalytic heater were evaluated by operating the heater in a
100 ft
3
test chamber at air exchange rates of 0.0, 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 ACH. During the test, gas samples were
continually withdrawn from the test chamber and analyzed for carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide
(CO
2
), oxygen (O
2
), and unburnt hydrocarbons in the form of propane. Long term testing of two identical
catalytic heaters was also performed to determine if the catalyst degraded over time.
The following is a summary of CPSC staff’s findings:
• On average, the catalytic heater operated for approximately 6.5 hours on a 1-pound disposable
bottle of propane. This heater could not be attached to a larger fuel source (i.e., 20-pound tank).
• The peak CO concentration ranged from 68 ppm to 125 ppm and the steady state CO
concentration ranged from 67 ppm to 109 ppm. Assuming a limited exposure time of up to 6.5

2
hours at these CO concentrations, the catalytic heater does not appear to pose a serious CO hazard
to healthy adults when the CO concentration is considered by itself.
• When the catalytic heater was operated in a closed room (ACH ~ 0), the oxygen was depleted
from an ambient concentration of 20.9 percent to 8.8 percent. Because the catalytic heater can
deplete the O
2
concentration to such low levels, the heater poses a serious risk of hypoxia. The
degree of hypoxia is further exacerbated by the moderate CO concentration and by an increase in
the carbon dioxide concentration that accompanied the depletion of oxygen.
• As the oxygen decreased in the chamber, the catalytic heater became less effective at converting
the propane and oxygen to carbon dioxide and water vapor. This was reflected by an increase in
the hydrocarbon concentration in the chamber, which ranged from 1,050 ppm to 13,440 ppm (5 to
64 percent of the lower explosion limit of propane in air). The unreacted propane further
increases the degree of hypoxia.
• The heater’s catalyst did not appear to degrade over time. This observation is based on operating
two identical heaters on 100 disposable 1-pound bottles of propane (equivalent to approximately
650 hours of total use). Emission tests were performed on each heater after every 20
th
bottle of
propane (approximately every 130 hours).
• The catalytic heater did comply with the combustion requirements currently specified in the draft
version of the standard for catalytic camp heaters (ANSI Z21.62-draft).
• The catalytic heater did not comply with the combustion requirements specified in the standard
for infrared radiant camp heaters (ANSI Z21.63-2000). The heater depleted the O
2
concentration
below 16 percent in the test chamber and also exceeded the 100 ppm limit for CO in the test
chamber.
Based on these test results, CPSC staff plans to recommend the following to the CSA/Z21 Joint
Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Refrigerators and Portable Camping Equipment:
1. Replace the combustion requirements currently being proposed in the draft version of ANSI
Z21.62 with the same combustion requirements specified in ANSI Z21.63 (i.e., CO ≤ 100 ppm
and O
2
≥ 16 percent when the heater is operated in a 100 ft
3
room at air exchange rates of 0.5, 1.0,
and 1.5 ACH). Since the catalytic camp heaters can be used in the same environments as those in
which the infrared radiant camp heaters are used, the catalytic camp heaters should meet the same
requirements for CO emissions and O
2
depletion as those specified for infrared radiant camp
heaters.
2. Limit the emissions of hydrocarbons (in the form of propane) to 500 ppm, when the catalytic
heater is tested in a 100 ft
3
room at air exchange rates of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 ACH. The current draft
proposal of ANSI Z21.62 only checks the hydrocarbon emissions at an O
2
concentration of 19.4
percent during a closed room test.
3. Keep the requirement currently specified in the draft proposal of ANSI Z21.62 to retest the
catalytic heater after operating the heater for 100 hours.

3
INTRODUCTION
*

Background
In 2001, staff at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) began a project to
document the carbon monoxide (CO) emissions from camp heaters, which are small portable propane
heaters. The objective of the project was to determine if the heaters complied with the combustion
requirements in the voluntary standard for Portable Type Gas Camp Heaters (ANSI Z21.63-2000). The
standard was revised in April 2000 to address the potential CO poisoning hazard that can result when
propane heaters are operated in small-enclosed areas that are poorly ventilated, such as a tent.
Two types of heaters were tested as part of the project: infrared radiant heaters and catalytic
heaters. Catalytic heaters differ from infrared radiant heaters in that heat is generated from a catalytic
reaction involving propane and oxygen, without the presence of a flame. Although ANSI Z21.63 applies
to infrared radiant camp heaters, a catalytic heater was included as part of the project since the heater was
being marketed for use inside tents and other indoor areas. Between 1996 and June 2001, CPSC is aware
of one CO poisoning death that occurred while a catalytic heater was being used in a confined space
(Mah, 2001)
Catalytic Heaters
Catalytic heaters generate heat through a flameless catalytic reaction involving propane and
oxygen. This is different from infrared radiant heaters, which generate a flame during the combustion
process. The catalytic heater generates heat by bringing the propane and oxygen (air) into contact with a
platinum catalyst. A chemical reaction then occurs in which the propane and oxygen are converted
primarily into carbon dioxide and water vapor. During the chemical reaction, heat is also released. The
chemical reaction occurs at a temperature well below the flame temperature of typical infrared radiant
heaters. In order to start the reaction, the fuel and air mixture must be ignited by an external heat source,
such as a spark or pilot light.
Figure 1 shows a catalytic heater currently available to consumers. The catalytic heater consists
of a circular burner head and a control valve to turn the gas on and off. The catalytic material is dispersed
throughout a catalyst-containing substrate, which has the appearance of a woven ceramic fiber pad. The
substrate is located within the burner head and is covered with a perforated metal plate. The entire heater
assembly attaches directly to a disposable bottle of propane.
At the time the project was conducted, CPSC staff was aware of only one manufacturer selling a
small catalytic heater for recreational use (i.e., the heater was portable and operated off of a disposable 1-
pound bottle of propane). Since the completion of the project, staff is aware of a least one other
manufacturer who is marketing a catalytic heater for use in enclosed areas, such as tents, trailers and
fishing huts. However, this catalytic heater operates off of a bulk tank of propane (e.g., 20-pound tank),
not a disposable bottle.


*
The views expressed in this report are those of the CPSC staff and do not necessarily reflect the views of the
Commission.

4
Disposable
Propane Bottle
Control
Knob
Burner
Head
Catalyst-Containing Substrate
(located behind metal screen)

Figure 1. Catalytic heater

Voluntary Standards
The voluntary standard applicable to catalytic camp heaters is ANSI Z21.62, American National
Standard for Portable Catalytic Camp Heaters for Use with Propane Gas. The standard was withdrawn
in 1992 because the CSA/Z21 Joint Subcommittee on Gas Refrigerators and Portable Camping
Equipment and a certification laboratory were unaware of any product that needed the standard for
certification purposes. However, several catalytic heater manufacturers have recently requested that a
new standard be written so that their products can be certified. At the June 2000 meeting of the CSA/Z21
Joint Subcommittee on Gas Refrigerators and Portable Camping Equipment, the subcommittee
established a task group on catalytic heaters that is responsible for the development of a new harmonized
standard for catalytic camp heaters. A draft of the standard was sent out for public review and comment
on November 15, 2001. To date, the draft standard has not been adopted.
The combustion requirements currently being proposed in the draft version of the catalytic camp
heater standard are the same combustion requirements as those of the previous standard written in 1977.
In general, the heater is operated in a closed room with no air changes. When the oxygen concentration in
the room is depleted to 19.4 percent, the concentration of CO cannot exceed 35 ppm and the
concentration of hydrocarbons (unreacted fuels expressed as propane) cannot exceed 500 ppm.
Furthermore, the concentration of CO cannot exceed 250 ppm when the oxygen concentration is depleted
to 15.1 percent. The standard also specifies that the combustion test is to be repeated after operating the
heater for 100 hours outside of the room.
The voluntary standard for portable infrared camp heaters is ANSI Z21.63 (2000), American
National Standard/CSA Standard for Portable Type Gas Camp Heaters. The standard applies to
unvented portable type gas-fired heaters, of the infrared type, that are intended for outdoor use and have a
maximum input rate up to and including 12,000 Btu/hr. The standard was revised in April 2000 to
address the CO poisoning hazard that can result when gas-fired camp heaters are used in enclosed areas
that are poorly ventilated. ANSI Z21.63 (2000) specifies that when an infrared radiant heater is operated
in a 100 ft
3
room at air exchange rates of 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 air changes per hour, the CO concentration in
the room cannot exceed 100 ppm. In addition, ANSI Z21.63 (2000) specifies that the O
2
concentration in
the room cannot be depleted below 16 percent at any time.

5
TEST EQUIPMENT
*
AND SETUP
Heater Samples
At the time the project was conducted, CPSC staff was aware of only one manufacturer selling a
small catalytic heater for recreational use. The Office of Compliance collected several of these heaters
from a local retail store in October 1999. The heater has a nominal energy-input rate of 3,000 Btu/hr.
Two identical catalytic heaters were tested as part of this project and are referred to as Heater 1 and
Heater 2.
Propane Gas
The heaters were attached directly to a disposable 1-pound bottle of propane. Bottles from two
different propane suppliers were used and the bottles were purchased locally at several different retail
stores. A gas chromatograph analysis of gas samples taken from several bottles indicated that the propane
gas consisted of approximately 90-95% propane (C
3
H
8
), 2-9% ethane (C
2
H
6
), 1-3% iso-butane (C
4
H
10
),
and less than 1% butane (C
4
H
10
). A calorimeter was not available on site to measure the heating value of
the propane gas, therefore a heating value of 2,500 Btu/ft
3
was assumed for the gas. A heating value of
2,500 Btu/ft
3
is often assumed for propane gas when the actual value is not known (AGA, 2001).
Test Chamber
Experiments were conducted inside a 100 ft
3
test chamber with an interior height of 6.6 ft, a
width of 3.9 ft, and a depth of 3.9 ft. The chamber was constructed from sheets of fire retardant boards
supported by a metal framework. A chilled water heat exchanger system was used to maintain the
temperature inside the chamber at a set temperature. The cooling system could maintain the chamber
temperature at 70°F t 5°F for heaters rated less than approximately 5,000 Btu/hr. To enhance the heat
transfer of the cooling system, fans were used to move air over the cooling coils of the heat exchanger.
These fans also circulated the air within the chamber, which resulted in a well-mixed environment. The
air exchange rate through the chamber could be varied from 0 to 6 air changes per hour (ACH) by
controlling the speed of the supply fan and exhaust fan, and by changing the diameter of the opening for
the supply air.
Combustion Gas Sampling System
Gas samples were continually withdrawn from the chamber through six equal length sample lines
located within the chamber. The six sample lines were connected to a common manifold where the gas
samples mixed. A pump conveyed the mixed gas sample to a series of gas analyzers. The gas sample
was analyzed for CO, CO
2
, O
2
, and unburnt hydrocarbons measured as propane (C
3
H
8
). Table 1 provides
a summary of the combustion gas analyzers. Water vapor formed during the combustion process was
removed from the gas sample prior to analysis using a chilled water heat exchange system.







*
The test equipment described herein including specific manufacturers' products used to monitor or control testing,
and/or record or obtain data, are specifically identified to allow others to attempt to re-produce this work should they
so desire. Mention of a specific product or manufacturer in this report does not constitute approval or endorsement
by the Commission.

6

Table 1. Summary of combustion gas analyzers.
Gas Analyzer
Gas Species
Measuring Technique Manufacturer Model
Measurement Range
Carbon Monoxide (CO) Non-Dispersive Infrared Rosemount 880A
0 – 200 ppm
0 – 1,000 ppm
0 – 3,000 ppm
Carbon Dioxide (CO
2
) Non-Dispersive Infrared Rosemount 880A 0 – 10 percent
Oxygen (O
2
) Paramagnetic Rosemount 755R 0 – 20.9 percent
Hydrocarbon (C
3
H
8
) Non-Dispersive Infrared Rosemount 880A
0 - 100 percent of the
Lower Explosive Limit
*
* A lower explosion limit of 2.1 percent propane in air was assumed (Segeler, 1965).
Temperature
The air temperature in the chamber was measured at six locations in the chamber using K-type
thermocouples (28-gauge, Omega). One thermocouple was located at the inlet of each sample tube.
Air Exchange Rate
The air exchange rate in the chamber was determined experimentally by measuring the
exponential decay of a tracer gas once the heater shut off. Sulfur hexafluoride (SF
6
) was used as the
tracer gas for all tests. The concentration of SF
6
in the chamber was measured with an electron capture
gas chromatograph analyzer (Largus Applied Technology, Model 101 Autotrac). The air exchange rates
obtained from the decay of SF
6
were verified by the decay of CO, which occurred once the heater was off.
Energy-Input Rate of Heater
The energy-input rate of the heater was determined indirectly by measuring the amount of
propane-fuel consumed by the heater over time. The mass of fuel consumed during a given time interval
was measured using an electronic scale (Mettler, PM34 Delta Range).
Data Acquisition
A data acquisition system was used to collect and record the data. The system consisted of a
personal computer, data acquisition interface hardware (Keithely), and data acquisition software
(LABTECH
©
CONTROL). Gas concentrations and temperatures were recorded every 30 seconds by the
data acquisition program. The program converted the voltage output from the gas analyzers into the
appropriate concentration units (percent or parts per million). The only items not recorded by the data
acquisition system were the concentration of SF
6
and the mass displayed on the electronic scale. The SF
6

analyzer contained an internal data acquisition program and recorded the concentration measurements
directly to a 3.5-inch floppy disk located on the analyzer. The mass of fuel consumed was displayed on
the electronic scale and recorded manually.

EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
Emission Tests
The gas analyzers were calibrated each morning prior to any tests being conducted. Each gas
analyzer was calibrated according to the instructions specified by the manufacturer. In general, the CO,
CO
2
, O
2
, and hydrocarbon gas analyzers were zeroed with nitrogen gas. The CO, CO
2
, and hydrocarbon

7
analyzers were then spanned using gases of known concentrations (EPA Protocol Standards). Since the
CO analyzer had three different ranges available, the gas analyzer was spanned on each range using a gas
appropriate for that range. The O
2
analyzer was spanned using room air, which was assumed to be 20.94
percent. The SF
6
analyzer was calibrated using a calibration gas supplied by the manufacturer of the SF
6

analyzer.
To begin a test, the air exchange rate of the test chamber was set by adjusting the speed of the
inlet fan and the exhaust fan. The relationship between the fan speed (i.e., supply voltage) and the air
exchange rate through the chamber was known prior to the tests. The chamber’s cooling system was also
started at this time.
After completing the initial setup of the chamber, the heater was attached to a disposable bottle of
propane and the heater was placed on the electronic scale inside of the chamber. The propane to the
heater was then ignited following the instructions specified by the heater manufacturer. The door to the
chamber was closed and the data acquisition program was then started.
As the test proceeded, the mass displayed on the electronic scale was recorded on a data sheet at
various time intervals. As a back up to the data recorded electronically by the data acquisition system, the
concentrations of CO, CO
2
, O
2
, and hydrocarbons were periodically recorded manually on a data sheet.
The test proceeded until one of the following events occurred: (1) the concentrations of CO, CO
2
,
and O
2
reached equilibrium (steady state), (2) the hydrocarbon concentration exceeded approximately 50
percent of the lower explosive limit of propane, or (3) all of the fuel was consumed from the bottle. The
heater could be turned off at any time by reaching into the chamber through a pair of glove ports and
rotating the fuel control knob on the heater to the "Off" position. Once the heater was off, the SF
6

analyzer was started and a small volume of SF
6
tracer gas was injected into the chamber. The decay of
the SF
6
gas was then monitored, with the concentration of the gas being recorded every two minutes.
Long Term Testing
Long term testing was performed on two identical catalytic heaters to determine if the catalyst
degraded over time. The heaters were placed in the CPSC burn room in Building G, which has a volume
of approximately 1500 ft
3
and was fairly well ventilated. The heaters were each attached to full 1-pound
disposable bottle of propane and operated until the fuel was depleted (approximately 6.5 hours). The
empty bottle was then removed and replaced with a full bottle. On average, two bottles per day were run
through each heater. No gas measurements were taken in the burn room while the heaters operated. At
every twentieth bottle (i.e., 20, 40, 60, 80, 100), the heater was placed in the test chamber and emissions
tests were conducted at an air exchange rate of 0.5 ACH. An air exchange rate of 0.5 ACH was selected
since this was the air exchange rate that was used for the first test with Heater 1. The emission test
protocol was identical to the emission tests described in the previous section.

DATA ANALYSIS
Air Exchange Rate
The equation describing the air exchange rate in the chamber can be derived from a simple mass
balance of SF
6
in the chamber. The decay of SF
6
with time can be described by Equation 1:
kt
t
e C C

·
0
(1)
In Equation 1, C
t
is the concentration of SF
6
at time t, C
o
is the initial concentration of SF
6
at the
start of the decay, k is the air exchange rate, and t is time. Equation 1 was derived based on the following
assumptions: the air in the chamber is well mixed, the SF
6
does not get absorbed inside the chamber, and
the background concentration of SF
6
is zero.
Equation 1 can be rearranged to solve for the quantity (kt) as follows:

8
kt
C
C
Ln
o
t
− ·

,
_

¸
¸
(2)
Equation 2 indicates that a plot of the quantity Ln (C
t
/C
o
) versus time (t) should be linear and that
the air exchange rate (k) will be equal to the slope of this line. Since the line should be linear, linear
regression can be used to fit a line to the data. An expression describing how well the line fits the data is
the R
2
term, where R is the correlation coefficient. An R
2
value of 1.0 indicates that the line obtained by
linear regression fits the data perfectly. For each test, a linear regression was performed on the SF
6
decay
data and the air exchange rate was obtained from the slope of this line. The test was considered
acceptable if the R
2
term was greater than 0.9.
CO Generation Rate
The rate at which the heater generated carbon monoxide, termed the CO source strength, can be
derived from a simple mass balance of CO in the chamber. Between any two time intervals (t
i
and t
i+1
),
the source strength can be calculated from the following equation,
1
1
1
]
1

¸


+


1
1
]
1

¸


+


+
·
+

,
_

¸
¸

,
_

¸
¸
i
t
i
t k
e
i
t
i
t k
e
i
t
C
i
t
C Vk
i
t
S
1
1
1
1
1
(3)
In Equation 3, S
t i+1
is the generation rate of CO at time t
i+1
, V is the volume of the chamber, k is
the air exchange rate, C
t i+1
is the concentration of CO at time t
i+1
, and C
t i
is the concentration of CO at
time t
i
. Equation 3 was derived based on assuming that the air in the chamber is well mixed and that the
CO is not absorbed inside the chamber.
Energy Input Rate
The energy-input rate of the heater, Q, was calculated indirectly from the mass of propane
consumed by the heater over time. The energy-input rate was calculated as follows:
1
]
1

¸



1
]
1

¸

·
t
m HHV C
Q
ρ
1
(4)
In Equation 4, C
1
is a conversion constant, HHV is the heating value of propane, ρ is the density
of the propane gas, and ∆m is the mass of propane fuel consumed during the time interval ∆t. A HHV of
2,500 Btu/ft
3
was assumed for propane. The density of the propane gas used in the calculation was 0.114
lb
m
/ft
3
and is based on a temperature of 70°F and a pressure of 14.7 lb
f
/in
2
.
Hydrocarbon Concentration
The hydrocarbon concentration was measured in terms of the lower explosion limit (LEL) of
propane in air. The hydrocarbon concentration was converted to a parts-per-million (ppm) basis by
assuming a LEL of 2.1 percent (21,000 ppm) propane in air (Segeler, 1965). Therefore,
( )
1
]
1

¸

·
100
LEL %
ppm 000 , 21 (ppm) n Hydrocarbo (5)


9
RESULTS
A summary of the test data is provided in Appendix A. Table A1 provides an overall summary of
the data for the emissions tests of Heater 1 at various air exchange rates. Table A2 compares the test data
to the combustion requirements in ANSI Z21.63 (2000). Table A3 compares the test data to the
combustion requirements in ANSI Z21.62 (draft). Table A4 provides a summary of the data from the
long-term testing of Heater 1 and Heater 2.
Emissions Tests
Heater 1 was tested in the chamber at four target air exchange rates: 0.0, 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 ACH.
The actual air exchange rate for each test was within t 0.1 ACH of the target air exchange rate.
The catalytic heater had a manufacturer’s specified energy-input rate of 3,000 Btu/hr. The
average energy-input rate for all tests was 3,210 Btu/hr t 50 Btu/hr. At this rate, the heater operated for
approximately 6.5 hours on a full 1-pound disposable bottle of propane.
Figure 2 illustrates how the maximum CO concentration in the test chamber varied with the air
exchange rate. The bolded horizontal line at 100 ppm is the maximum allowable CO concentration
specified in ANSI Z21.63 (2000), which is the voluntary standard for infrared radiant camp heaters. In
the figure, two CO concentrations are shown for each test condition: a peak value and a steady state value.
The peak CO concentration ranged from 68 ppm to 125 ppm and the steady state CO concentration
ranged from 67 ppm to 109 ppm. When the air exchange rate was approximately 1.0 ACH, the steady
state CO concentration remained above 100 ppm. At all other air exchange rates, the steady state CO
concentration was less than 100 ppm.
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
0.00 0.25 0.50 0.75 1.00 1.25 1.50 1.75 2.00
Air Exchange Rate in a 100 ft
3
Room (ACH)
C
O

C
o
n
c
e
n
t
r
a
t
i
o
n

(
p
p
m
)
Peak
Steady State
Maximum Allowable CO
ANSI Z21.63 (2000)
Tests terminated
before steady
state achieved

Figure 2. CO concentration in the test chamber as a function of the air exchange rate.
At an air exchange rate of 1.5 ACH, the peak and steady state CO concentrations were
approximately the same (t 1 ppm). As the air exchange rate decreased below 1.5 ACH, the difference
between the peak and steady state CO concentrations increased. An exception to this occurred during the
very first test of the heater, which was conducted at an air exchange rate of 0.5 ACH. During this test, the

10
steady state CO concentration and the peak CO concentration were approximately equal (67 ppm and 68
ppm, respectively). Based on this result and the results of the subsequent tests, the variance between the
peak and steady state CO concentrations appeared to occur only when consecutive tests were conducted
in the test chamber at air exchange rates below 1.5 ACH. Operating the heater repeatedly at reduced air
exchange rates may have caused the catalyst-containing substrate to become saturated with propane,
thereby affecting the efficiency of the catalytic reaction.
The time required for the CO concentration to reach 100 ppm in the test chamber ranged from 1.0
hour to 3.9 hours. The time required for the CO concentration to reach steady state (t
ss
) was a function of
the air exchange rate: at 0.5 ACH, t
ss
≈ 6 hrs, at 1.0 ACH, t
ss
≈ 3 hrs, and at 1.5 ACH, t
ss
≈ 2 hrs. During
the closed room test (ACH ~ 0.0), the test was terminated after approximately 3.7 hours, due to the
buildup of hydrocarbons in the test chamber. On average, the heater operated for approximately 6.5 hours
on a full 1-pound disposable bottle of propane.
Figure 3 illustrates the relationship between the steady state O
2
concentrations in the test chamber
and the air exchange rate. The bolded horizontal line at 16 percent O
2
is the minimum allowable O
2

concentration specified in ANSI Z21.63 (2000), which is the voluntary standard for infrared radiant camp
heaters. Three data sets are shown in Figure 3. The open circles represent discrete experimental data
points for steady state O
2
measurements made during tests conducted at different air exchange rates. The
lower curve illustrates the theoretical steady state O
2
concentration that would be expected assuming 100
percent of the fuel had reacted to form the products of combustion. The upper curve illustrates the
theoretical steady state O
2
concentration that would be expected from the CPSC test results, which found
that that less than 100 percent of the fuel had reacted.
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
0.00 0.25 0.50 0.75 1.00 1.25 1.50 1.75 2.00
Air Exchange Rate in a 100 ft
3
room (ACH)
S
t
e
a
d
y

S
t
a
t
e

O
2

C
o
n
c
e
n
t
r
a
t
i
o
n

(
%
)
Tests terminated
before steady
state achieved
Minimum Allowable O2
ANSI Z21.63 (2000)
Theoretical O
2
(100% of Fuel Reacted)
Theoretical O2
(Fraction of Fuel Reacted)

Figure 3. Steady state concentration of O
2
in the chamber as a function of the air exchange
rate.
The experimental data points in Figure 3 show that the catalytic heater depleted the O
2

concentration below 16 percent when the air exchange rate was less than approximately 1.0 ACH. The
time required to deplete the O
2
concentration from a normal room concentration of 20.9 percent to 16
percent ranged from 0.9 hours to 2.1 hours, depending on the air exchange rate. The minimum O
2


11
concentration measured in the chamber was 8.8 percent and occurred during a closed room test (ACH ~
0.0). Due to the buildup of hydrocarbons in the test chamber during this test, the heater was shut off prior
to the O
2
concentration reaching steady state. The O
2
concentration was depleted to 8.8 percent in
approximately 3.7 hours.
The two theoretical curves shown in Figure 3 were determined from a simple mass balance of O
2

in a 100 ft
3
room, assuming an ambient and initial O
2
concentrations of 20.9 percent and assuming an O
2

depletion rate based on the mass flow rate of propane. The lower curve assumes 100 percent of the
available fuel had reacted to form products of combustion. The upper curve is derived from the CPSC
experimental data and accounts for the fact that some fraction of the available fuel did not react, as
evidenced by the hydrocarbon concentrations measured in the chamber. It was assumed that the
hydrocarbon concentration measured in the chamber was propane. The O
2
concentrations that were used
to generate the upper curve were calculated as follows. First, the mass flow rate of the unreacted propane
(m
unreacted
) necessary to achieve a measured steady state hydrocarbon concentration in the chamber was
determined from a simple mass balance of propane in a 100 ft
3
room at the specified air exchange rate.
Next, the mass flow rate of the propane that actually reacted with the oxygen (m
reacted
) was calculated by
subtracting the mass flow rate of the unreacted propane (m
unreated
) from the total mass flow rate of propane
being supplied to the heater (m
total
).
m
reacted
= m
total
- m
unreacted
(6)
Finally, the steady state O
2
concentration was calculated from a simple mass balance of O
2
in a 100 ft
3

room, assuming an O
2
depletion rate based on the mass flow of the reacted propane (m
reacted
).
Figure 4 illustrates how the maximum concentration of hydrocarbons (measured as propane) in
the chamber varied with the air exchange rate. The left side of the graph gives the hydrocarbon
concentration in terms of the lower explosion limit (LEL) of propane gas in air and the right side of the
graph gives the concentration on a parts-per-million (ppm) basis. As the air exchange rate decreased, the
concentration of hydrocarbons increased. For all tests, the hydrocarbon concentration ranged from 1,050
ppm to 13,440 ppm (5 to 64 percent LEL). The maximum hydrocarbon concentration of 13,440 ppm (64
percent LEL) occurred during the closed room test and would have likely been higher had the test not
been terminated early due to safety concerns.
An increase in the hydrocarbon concentrations indicates that the catalyst did not convert 100
percent of the propane to carbon dioxide and water. This observation is further substantiated by the fact
that the oxygen was not being consumed at a rate necessary to burn 100 percent of the fuel being supplied
to the burner (Figure 3). Figure 5 illustrates the relationship between the amount of fuel that reacted to
the O
2
concentration in the chamber. The amount of fuel that reacted was calculated by dividing the mass
flow rate of the propane that actually reacted with the oxygen (m
reacted
) by the total mass flow rate of
propane supplied to the burner (m
total
). As the O
2
concentration decreased in chamber, the catalytic heater
became less efficient in converting all of the propane into the products of combustion. Figure 5 is based
on the steady state hydrocarbon concentrations measured in the chamber. Therefore, no calculations were
made for the closed room tests (ACH ~ 0), since the tests were terminated before steady state was
obtained. The hydrocarbon concentration was still increasing during the closed room tests when the test
was terminated.

12
0
2,100
4,200
6,300
8,400
10,500
12,600
14,700
16,800
18,900
21,000
0.00 0.25 0.50 0.75 1.00 1.25 1.50 1.75 2.00
Air Exchange Rate in a 100 ft
3
room (ACH)
H
y
d
r
o
c
a
r
b
o
n

(
C
3
H
8
)

C
o
n
c
e
n
t
r
a
t
i
o
n

(
p
p
m
)
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
H
y
d
r
o
c
a
r
b
o
n

(
C
3
H
8
)

C
o
n
c
e
n
t
r
a
t
i
o
n

(
L
E
L
)
Tests terminated before
steady state achieved

Figure 4. Steady state hydrocarbon concentration in the chamber as a function of the air
exchange rate.

0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
Steady State O2 Concentration (%)
A
m
o
u
n
t

o
f

F
u
e
l

R
e
a
c
t
e
d

(
%
)

Figure 5. Amount of fuel that reacted as a function of the steady state O
2
concentration
in the chamber.

13

Figure 6 illustrates how the CO generation rate of the catalytic heater varied as a function of the
O
2
concentration in the chamber. The data shown is for all tests, which accounts for the scatter in the
data. As the O
2
concentration decreased below approximately 17 percent O
2
, the heater generated less
CO. For all tests, the heater generated CO at rates up to 461 cc/hr. Below an O
2
concentration of
approximately 12 percent, the heater generated a negligible amount of CO. The catalytic heater generated
CO at a rate that was different than the infrared radiant camp heaters. In general, the infrared radiant
camp heaters produced CO more rapidly as the O
2
concentration was depleted below approximately 16
percent (Tucholski, 2002).

0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
O
2
Concentration (%)
C
O

G
e
n
e
r
a
t
i
o
n

R
a
t
e

(
c
c
/
h
r
)

Figure 6. CO generation rate of the catalytic heater as a function of the O
2
concentration
in the chamber.

Long Term Testing
Long term testing of two identical heaters (Heater 1 and Heater 2) was conducted to determine
whether the catalyst degraded over time, thereby affecting the CO emissions from the heater. Each heater
was operated on a total of 100 disposable 1-pound bottles of propane. On average, the heaters operated
for approximately 6.5 hours per bottle. Therefore, each heater was operated for approximately 650 hours.
At every 20
th
bottle (~130 hours), each heater was placed in the test chamber and an emissions test was
preformed at an air exchange rate of 0.5 ACH. A summary of the data is provided in Table A4.
Figure 7 illustrates the steady state CO concentration obtained in the test chamber for every 20
th

test with Heater 1 and Heater 2. Although there was a slight variance in the CO concentration between
tests (maximum ∆CO = 15 ppm), it does not appear that the catalyst degraded over time.



14
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
Heater #1 Heater #2
Catalytic Heater Sample
S
t
e
a
d
y

S
t
a
t
e

C
O

C
o
n
c
e
n
t
r
a
t
i
o
n

(
p
p
m
)
Test #1 (~6.5 hrs) Test #20 (~130 hrs) Test #40 ~(260 hrs)
Test #60 (~390 hrs) Test #80 (~520 hrs) Test #100 (~650 hrs)
ACH = 0.5
Room Volume = 100 f
t 3

Figure 7. Steady state CO concentrations obtained in the test chamber for Heaters 1 and
2 during the long term testing of the heaters.

DISCUSSION
In 2001, CPSC staff began a project to document the CO emissions from currently available camp
heaters to determine if the heaters complied with the combustion requirements in the voluntary standard
for portable type gas camp heaters (ANSI Z21.63). The standard was revised in April 2000 to address the
potential CO poisoning hazard that can result when gas-fired heaters are operated in small enclosed areas
that are poorly ventilated, such as a tent. Although ANSI Z21.63 only applies to infrared radiant heaters,
a catalytic heater was included as part of the project since the catalytic heater was being marketed for use
inside tents. The applicable voluntary standard for catalytic camp heaters is ANSI Z21.62. The standard
was withdrawn in 1992, but a new standard is currently being written. Table 2 provides a summary of the
combustion test specified in each standard.

Table 2. Summary of the combustion tests specified in ANSI Z21.62 (draft) and ANSI Z21.63 (2000)

ANSI Z21.62 (draft)
Portable Catalytic Camp Heater
ANSI Z21.63 (2000)
Portable Gas Fired Camp Heaters
Room Volume Not Specified 100 ft
3

Air Exchange Rate 0 ACH 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 ACH
Length of Test Until specific O
2
concentration reached Until flame extinguishes or equilibrium reached
CO
≤ 35 ppm at 19.4 percent O
2
≤ 250 ppm at 15.1 percent O
2

≤ 100 ppm throughout the test
O
2
No Requirement ≥ 16 percent throughout the test
Hydrocarbons ≤ 500 ppm at 19.4 percent O
2
No Requirement

15

CO Emissions
When the catalytic heater was operated at the test conditions specified in the standard for infrared
radiant camp heaters (ANSI Z21.63), the steady state CO concentration ranged from 67 ppm to 109 ppm.
Steady state was achieved in approximately 2 to 6 hours, depending on the air exchange rate. Since the
CO concentration in the chamber exceeded 100 ppm during several of the tests, the catalytic heater would
not comply with the CO requirement ANSI Z21.63 (2000). Assuming a limited exposure time of up to
6.5 hours at these CO concentrations, the catalytic heater does not appear to pose a serious CO hazard to
healthy adults when the CO concentration is considered by itself. When the CO emissions from the
catalytic camp heater are compared to those of a typical radiant camp heater, the catalytic heater
generated much less CO (Tucholski, 2002).
Unlike the standard for infrared radiant camp heaters that limits the CO concentration to 100 ppm
throughout the entire test, the current draft of the voluntary standard for portable catalytic camp heaters
(ANSI Z21.62-draft) only limits the CO concentration at two specific O
2
concentrations. At an O
2

concentration of 19.4 percent, the CO concentration cannot exceed 35 ppm, and at an O
2
concentration of
15.1 percent, the CO cannot exceed 250 ppm. When the catalytic heater was tested in a closed room
(ACH ~ 0), the CO concentration in the chamber ranged from 24 ppm to 27 ppm at an O
2
concentration of
19.4 percent. During the same tests, the CO concentrations ranged from 101 ppm to 110 ppm at an O
2

concentration of 15.1 percent.
Although the catalytic heater would meet the CO emission requirement being proposed in the
new standard for catalytic camp heaters, CPSC staff does not agree with allowing the CO concentration to
reach 250 ppm in a closed room. Sustained exposure to a CO concentration of 250 ppm for 6 to 7 hours
could pose a serious CO hazard to healthy adults. Depending on an exposed individual’s activity level,
this could result in carboxyhemoglobin levels ranging from 24 to 29 percent, where severe headache,
nausea, vomiting and mental confusion could be expected.
1
Instead, CPSC staff recommends that the CO
concentration be limited to 100 ppm, the same limit as that specified in the standard for infrared radiant
camp heaters. Camping heaters that meet the CO emissions requirement in ANSI Z21.63 (2000) should
not pose a CO poisoning threat to healthy consumers when the heaters are brought into enclosed spaces.
O
2
Depletion
Catalytic heaters consume oxygen during the reaction to generate heat and therefore will deplete
the oxygen in a small, poorly ventilated room. This point is better illustrated by Figure 8, which shows
how the steady state oxygen concentration in a room is a function of the energy-input rate of the heater
and the air exchange rate through the room. Figure 8 was constructed from a simple mass balance of O
2

in a 100 ft
3
room, assuming an ambient and initial O
2
concentration of 20.9 percent. It was also assumed
that the propane heater consumed O
2
at a constant rate of 2 ft
3
/hr for every 1000 Btu/hr of propane
burned.
2
Figure 8 illustrates that for a constant energy-input rate, the steady state O
2
concentration in the
room decreases as the air exchange rate decreases.



1
Personal communication from Sandra E. Inkster, CPSC, Directorate for Health Sciences.
2
This assumes that 5 ft
3
of oxygen is consumed for 1 ft
3
of propane gas and the heating value of propane is 2,500 Btu/ft
3
. Therefore, (5 ft
3
O2/1
ft
3
C3H8)(ft
3
C3H8/2,500 Btu)(1,000 Btu/hr) = 2 ft
3
O2/hr for every 1000 Btu/hr of propane gas burned.

16
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Energy-Input Rate of Heater (1,000 Btu/hr)
S
t
e
a
d
y

S
t
a
t
e

O
2

C
o
n
c
e
n
t
r
a
t
i
o
n

(
%
)
0.5 ACH
1.0 ACH
5.0 ACH
3.0 ACH
2.0 ACH
1.5 ACH
6.0 ACH
Propane Heater
Room Volume = 100 ft
3
Initial/Background [O2] = 20.9%

Figure 8. Predicted steady state O
2
concentrations in a 100 ft
3
room as a function of
the energy-input rate of a propane heater and the air exchange rate of the room.
Unlike infrared radiant heaters that generate a flame during the combustion process and require a
certain oxygen concentration to sustain the flame, the catalytic heaters have no flame and can operate at
reduced oxygen levels. The flame on a typical infrared radiant heater self-extinguishes when the O
2

concentration is depleted below approximately 14 percent (Tucholski, 2002). Tests with the catalytic
heater at low air exchange rates showed that the catalytic heater was capable of operating at much lower
O
2
concentrations. During the closed room test, the O
2
concentration was depleted to 8.8 percent. The
test was terminated early due to the build-up of hydrocarbons in the chamber. When the test was
terminated, the oxygen concentration was still decreasing.
Catalytic heaters are being marketed as safe for indoor use. Because the catalytic heaters can
deplete the O
2
concentration to low levels, CPSC staff is concerned with the possible health effects from
reduced oxygen concentrations. Table 3 summaries the health effects associated with reduced oxygen
concentrations. The degree of hypoxia is further exacerbated by the moderate CO concentration and by
an increase in the carbon dioxide concentration that accompanied the depletion of oxygen (see Table A1).
Table 3. Reduced oxygen concentrations and health effects (adapted from Burton, 1996)
Oxygen
Concentration (%)
Symptoms
20.9 Normal concentration in the air at sea level
12 - 16 Breathing and pulse rate increased, muscular coordination slightly disturbed
10 – 14 Emotional upsets, abnormal fatigue upon exertion, impaired respiration
6 – 10
Nausea and vomiting, inability to move freely, loss of consciousness may occur; may
collapse and although aware of circumstances be unable to move or cry out
< 6
Convulsive movements, gasping respiration; respiration stops and a few minutes later
heart action ceases

17
The current draft of the standard for portable catalytic camp heaters (ANSI Z21.62-draft) does not
address the issue of oxygen depletion. CPSC staff recommends that the catalytic camp heaters meet the
same requirement for O
2
depletion as the requirement for infrared radiant camp heaters (i.e., O
2
≥ 16
percent in a 100 ft
3
room at air exchange rates of 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 ACH). Camping heaters that meet the
O
2
depletion requirement in ANSI Z21.63 (2000) should not pose a health risk to healthy consumers
when the heaters are brought into enclosed spaces.
For the three air exchange rates specified in ANSI Z21.63 (i.e., 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 ACH), Table 4
lists the maximum energy-input rate that a propane heater can operate at without depleting the O
2

concentration below 16 percent. At the minimum air exchange rate of 0.5 ACH, a propane heater can
operate at a maximum energy-input rate of 1,220 Btu/hr without depleting the O
2
concentration below 16
percent in a 100 ft
3
room.
Table 4. Calculated energy-input rate that a propane heater can operate at without
depleting the O
2
concentration below 16 percent in a 100 ft
3
room.
Air Exchange Rate
(air changes per hour)
Energy-Input Rate
(Btu/hr)
0.5 1,220
1.0 2,450
1.5 3,700
If the catalytic heater is to operate at an energy-input rate greater than 1,220 Btu/hr, but not
deplete the O
2
concentration below 16 percent, then the heater must incorporate some mechanism to shut
the heater off when the O
2
concentration starts to be depleted. One such mechanism is an Oxygen
Depletion Sensor (ODS). An ODS consists of a thermocouple, a pilot flame, and a solenoid gas valve.
The pilot flame is used to heat the thermocouple, which then generates a current, sufficient enough to
keep the solenoid gas valve open. When the oxygen level drops below 18 percent, the pilot flame self-
extinguishes, causing the thermocouple to cool and the gas valve to close. Some manufacturers of
infrared radiant heaters have incorporated an ODS on their heaters (Tucholski, 2002). CPSC staff is also
aware of one catalytic heater manufacturer that incorporates an ODS on high-end catalytic heaters
designed for use indoors, such as in mobile homes, cabins, and boats.
Hydrocarbon Emissions
As the O
2
concentration decreased in the chamber, the catalytic reaction became less effective,
allowing more of the propane to pass through the heater unreacted. For all tests, the hydrocarbon
concentration at the end of the test ranged from 1,050 ppm to 13,440 ppm (5 to 64 percent of the LEL of
propane gas in air).
The current standard for portable infrared camp heaters (ANSI Z21.63) does not address the issue
of hydrocarbon emissions. However, the standard currently being proposed for portable catalytic camp
heaters (ANSI Z21.62-draft) does limit the hydrocarbon emission to 500 ppm when the O
2
concentration
has been reduced to 19.4 percent in a room with no air changes. For both tests with no air changes, the
hydrocarbon concentration was approximately 210 ppm (1 percent LEL) at an O
2
concentration of 19.4
percent.
Although Heater 1 would meet the hydrocarbon emission requirement currently being proposed
in the new standard for catalytic heaters, the proposed standard does not address hydrocarbon emissions at
lower O
2
concentrations. During the closed room tests, the hydrocarbon concentration reached 13,440
ppm (64 percent LEL) prior to the test being terminated. Therefore, the proposed standard for catalytic
camp heaters does not adequately protect the consumer from high emissions of hydrocarbons. The

18
unreacted propane further acts to increase the degree of hypoxia experienced by an individual. To
address this issue, CPSC staff recommends limiting the hydrocarbon emissions from catalytic camp
heaters to 500 ppm throughout the entire test when the catalytic heater is tested in a 100 ft
3
room at air
exchange rates of 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 ACH.
Long Term Testing
Long term testing of two identical heaters was conducted to determine whether the heater’s
catalyst degraded over time, thereby affecting the CO emissions from the heater. Each heater was
operated on a total of 100 disposable 1-pound bottles of propane, which was equivalent to approximately
650 hours of use. Based on the CO concentrations obtained during the chamber tests, which occurred
every 20
th
bottle (~130 hrs), the catalyst did not appear to degrade overtime. The current draft of the
standard for catalytic camp heaters (ANS Z21.62) specifies that the combustion test is to be repeated after
operating the heater for 100 hours. CPSC staff recommends that this portion of the combustion test be
retained in the standard.

CONCLUSIONS
CPSC staff tested a catalytic heater as part of a project to document the CO emissions from
currently available camp heaters in order to determine if the heaters complied with the combustion
requirements in the voluntary standard Portable Type Gas Camp Heaters (ANSI Z21.63-2000). Although
the catalytic heater is not within the scope of ANSI Z21.63, it was included as part of the project since the
catalytic heater was being marketed for use inside tents and other indoor areas. The voluntary standard
applicable for catalytic camp heaters is ANSI Z21.62, but the standard was withdrawn in 1992. A new
standard is currently being written for catalytic camp heaters.
Although both ANSI Z21.62 (draft) and ANSI Z21.63 (2000) are for camp heaters (e.g., small
portable heaters that typically use a disposable 1-pound bottle of propane), the two standards have
different combustion requirements. ANSI Z21.62 (draft) limits the CO and hydrocarbon emissions at
specific O
2
concentrations, but does not limit the depletion of O
2
. ANSI Z21.63 (2000) limits the CO
emissions and O
2
depletion throughout the entire test.
The following is a summary of CPSC staff’s findings on the testing of the catalytic heater:
• The peak CO concentration ranged from 68 ppm to 125 ppm and the steady state CO
concentration ranged from 67 ppm to 109 ppm. Assuming a limited exposure time of up to 6.5
hours at these CO concentrations, the catalytic heater does not appear to pose a serious CO hazard
to healthy adults when the CO concentration is considered by itself.
• When the catalytic heater was operated in a closed room (ACH ~ 0), the oxygen was depleted
from an ambient concentration of 20.9 percent to 8.8 percent. Because the catalytic heater can
deplete the O
2
concentration to such low levels, the heater poses a serious risk of hypoxia. The
degree of hypoxia is further exacerbated by the moderate CO concentration and by an increase in
the carbon dioxide concentration that accompanied the depletion of oxygen.
• As the oxygen decreased in the chamber, the catalytic heater became less effective at converting
the propane and oxygen to carbon dioxide and water vapor. This was reflected by an increase in
the hydrocarbon concentration in the chamber, which ranged from 1,050 ppm to 13,440 ppm (5 to
64 percent of the lower explosion limit of propane in air). The unreacted propane further
increases the degree of hypoxia.
• The heater’s catalyst did not appear to degrade over time. This observation is based on operating
two identical heaters on 100 disposable 1-pound bottles of propane (approximately 650 hours).

19
Emission tests were performed on each heater after every 20
th
bottle of propane (approximately
every 130 hours).
• The catalytic heater did comply with the combustion requirements currently specified in the draft
version of the standard for catalytic camp heaters (ANSI Z21.62).
• The catalytic heater did not comply with the combustion requirements specified in the standard
for infrared radiant camp heaters (ANSI Z21.63-2000). The heater depleted the O
2
concentration
below 16 percent in the test chamber and also exceeded the 100 ppm limit for CO in the test
chamber.
Based on these test results, CPSC staff plans to recommend the following to the CSA/Z21 Joint
Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Refrigerators and Portable Camping Equipment:
1. Replace the combustion requirements currently being proposed in ANSI Z21.62 with the same
combustion requirements specified in ANSI Z21.63 (i.e., CO ≤ 100 ppm and O
2
≥ 16 percent
when the heater is operated in a 100 ft
3
room at air exchange rates of 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 ACH).
Since the catalytic camp heaters can be used in the same environments as those in which the
infrared radiant camp heaters are used, the catalytic camp heaters should meet the same
requirements for CO emissions and O
2
depletion as those specified for infrared radiant camp
heaters.
2. Limit the emissions of hydrocarbons (in the form of propane) to 500 ppm, when the catalytic
heater is tested in a 100 ft
3
room at air exchange rates of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 ACH. The current draft
proposal of ANSI Z21.62 only checks the hydrocarbon emissions at an O
2
concentration of 19.4
percent during a closed room test.
3. Keep the requirement currently specified in the draft proposal of ANSI Z21.62 to retest the
catalytic heater after operating the heater for 100 hours.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The following individuals contributed to the overall project: Chris Brown, Ron Reichel, Richard Schenck,
Scott Snyder, and John Worthington.

REFERENCES
American Gas Association (AGA), American National Standard for Portable Catalytic Camp
Heaters for Use with Propane Gas, ANSI Z21.62-1977, 1
st
edition, Cleveland, OH (1977).
American Gas Association (AGA), Fundamentals of Gas Combustion, 3
rd
edition, Catalog No.
XH0105, Washington, D.C. (2001).
L. Burton, Possible Health Effects from the Reduced Oxygen Associated with the Use of Camping
Heaters, Memorandum to D. Switzer, Division of Health Effects, Directorate for Epidemiology and
Health Sciences, US Consumer Product Safety Commission, April 25, 1996.
CSA International, American National Standard/CSA Standard for Portable Type Gas Camp Heaters,
ANSI Z21.63-2000/CSA 11.2-2000, 1
st
edition, Cleveland, OH (2000).
Mah, J., Hazard Sketch of Portable Type Propane Camping Heaters, Memorandum to D. Tucholski,
Division of Hazard Analysis, Directorate for Epidemiology, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
(October 11, 2001).
Segeler, C. G., Gas Engineers Handbook, 1st edition, The Industrial Press, New York, NY, (1965).

20
Tucholski, D., CO Emissions from Portable Propane Radiant Heaters, Directorate for Laboratory
Sciences, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (October 2002).

21

APPENDIX A. SUMMARY OF TEST DATA

Table A1 – Summary of the emission tests of Heater 1.
Maximum HC
CO Generation Rate
(cc/hr)
Test
#
Air Exchange
Rate
(1/hr)
Energy-
Input Rate
(Btu/hr)
Maximum
CO
(ppm)
Steady State
CO
ss
(ppm)
Minimum
O
2

(%)
Maximum
CO
2

(%)
(% LEL) (ppm)
Time Heater
Shut Off
(hr)
Reason
Heater
Shut Off
1

Max Min Avg
4 0.10 3,140 114 77 8.8 7.9 62 13,020 3.68 LEL 347 65 205
8 0.10 3,250 125 87 9.0 7.9 64 13,440 3.60 LEL 351 35 208
9 0.43 3,230 114 96 12.0 5.8 44 9,240 6.62 EB 355 82 155
1 0.46 3,160 68 67 12.3 5.5 60 12,600 6.67 EB 255 46 103
5 0.47 3,250 113 97 11.6 5.8 47 9,870 6.90 EB 378 65 164
6 0.90 3,270 116 109 15.3 3.5 16 3,360 5.35 SS 461 144 308
2 0.98 3,240 106 105 15.5 3.4 13 2,730 6.65 EB 348 144 289
7 1.44 3,250 92 92 16.9 2.4 6 1,260 3.52 SS 410 144 364
3 1.54 3,140 90 90 17.1 2.3 5 1,050 6.65 EB 424 149 375
Note LEL = LEL of propane gas > 50 % in chamber, EB = Empty Bottle of propane, SS = Steady State of CO, CO
2
, and O
2
Achieved

Table A2. Comparison of the test data to the combustion requirements in the standard for infrared radiant camp heaters (ANSI Z21.63-2000)
Air Exchange Rate
(1/hr)
Test
#
Target Actual
Energy-Input Rate
(Btu/hr)
Maximum CO
(ppm)
Minimum O
2

(%)
Pass/Fail
ANSI Z21.63-2000
Time CO Reached
100 ppm
(hrs)
Time O
2
Depleted to
16%
(hrs)
9 0.5 0.43 3,230 114 12.0 Fail 1.14 1.19
1 0.5 0.46 3,160 68 12.3 Fail N/A 1.15
5 0.5 0.47 3,250 113 11.6 Fail 1.20 1.13
6 1.0 0.90 3,270 116 15.3 Fail 1.20 1.82
2 1.0 0.98 3,240 106 15.5 Fail 3.92 2.12
7 1.5 1.44 3,250 92 16.9 Pass N/A N/A
3 1.5 1.54 3,140 90 17.1 Pass N/A N/A


22

Table A3. Comparison of the test data to the combustion requirements in the proposed standard for catalytic camp heaters (ANSI Z21.62-draft)
Air Exchange Rate (1/hr) HC at 19.4% O
2

Test #
Target Actual
Energy-Input
Rate
(Btu/hr)
CO at
19.4% O
2

(ppm)
CO at
19.4% O
2

(ppm)
(%LEL) (ppm)
Time O
2
Depleted
to 19.4%
(hrs)
Time O
2
Depleted
to 15.1%
(min)
Pass/Fail
ANSI Z21.62-draft
4 0 0.10
3,140
24 101 1 210 0.27 1.17 Pass
8 0 0.10
3,250
27 110 1 210 0.27 1.17 Pass


Table A4 – Summary of the extended test of Heater 1 and Heater 2.
CO Generation Rate
(cc/hr)
Test
Sample
Test
Number
Air
Exchange
Rate
(1/hr)
Energy-
Input Rate
(Btu/hr)
Maximum
CO
(ppm)
Steady
State CO
(ppm)
Minimum
O
2

(%)
Maximum
CO
2

(%)
Maximum
HC
(% LEL)
Time
Heater
Shut Off
(hr)
Max Min Avg
1 0.46 3,140 68 67 12.3 5.5 60 6.67 255 46 103
20 0.53 3,370 82 82 12.9 5.3 38 6.25 297 80 151
40 0.53 3,270 75 75 12.9 5.4 35 6.52 213 66 128
60 0.54 3,350 74 74 12.8 5.4 40 6.35 231 69 133
80 0.56 3,340 79 79 13.1 5.2 34 6.47 224 76 139
1
100 0.54 3,250 71 71 12.8 5.4 35 6.50 159 59 113

1 0.42 3,330 74 73 11.3 5.9 47 6.43 176 46 103
20 0.62 3,312 84 84 13.4 5.0 26 6.45 216 70 150
40 0.53 3,312 81 81 12.6 5.6 37 6.42 192 71 132
60 0.55 3,281 85 85 12.6 5.5 37 6.50 196 38 131
80 0.50 3,234 79 79 12.3 5.6 37 6.63 188 66 119
2
100 0.59 3,308 83 83 12.6 5.5 37 6.25 274 94 153

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.................................................................................................................1 INTRODUCTION..............................................................................................................................3 Background ....................................................................................................................................3 Catalytic Heaters.............................................................................................................................3 Voluntary Standards........................................................................................................................4 TEST EQUIPMENT AND SETUP......................................................................................................5 Heater Samples...............................................................................................................................5 Propane Gas...................................................................................................................................5 Test Chamber.................................................................................................................................5 Combustion Gas Sampling System...................................................................................................5 Temperature...................................................................................................................................6 Air Exchange Rate..........................................................................................................................6 Energy-Input Rate of Heater ............................................................................................................6 Data Acquisition .............................................................................................................................6 EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE.......................................................................................................6 Emission Tests................................................................................................................................6 Long Term Testing .........................................................................................................................7 DATA ANALYSIS ............................................................................................................................7 Air Exchange Rate..........................................................................................................................7 CO Generation Rate ........................................................................................................................8 Energy Input Rate ...........................................................................................................................8 Hydrocarbon Concentration .............................................................................................................8 RESULTS..........................................................................................................................................9 Emissions Tests..............................................................................................................................9 Long Term Testing .......................................................................................................................13 DISCUSSION ..................................................................................................................................14 CO Emissions ...............................................................................................................................15 O2 Depletion.................................................................................................................................15 Hydrocarbon Emissions.................................................................................................................17 Long Term Testing .......................................................................................................................18 CONCLUSIONS..............................................................................................................................18 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................................19 REFERENCES.................................................................................................................................19 Appendix A. Summary Of Test Data.................................................................................................21

i

The CO concentration in the room cannot exceed 35 parts per million (ppm) when the oxygen (O2 ) is depleted to 19. Assuming a limited exposure time of up to 6. The combustion test specified in ANSI Z21. the draft standard has not been adopted. The test is conducted until equilibrium is reached or until the flame self extinguishes.5. and a draft of the standard was sent out for public review and comment on November 15.63 (2000) both apply to gas-fired camp heaters. a catalytic heater was included as part of the project since the catalytic heater was being marketed for use inside tents and indoor areas. and unburnt hydrocarbons in the form of propane. 2001. Although ANSI Z21. the catalytic heater operated for approximately 6. the hydrocarbon concentration (measured as propane) cannot exceed 500 ppm when the O2 is depleted to 19. has been inactive since 1992.5 air changes per hour (ACH). Catalytic heaters differ from infrared radiant heaters in that heat is generated from a flameless catalytic reaction involving propane and oxygen..5 1 . CPSC is aware of one CO poisoning death associated with use of a catalytic heater in a confined space (Mah. 0.62 (draft) is conducted by operating the heater in a closed room (i.S.632000).EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In 2001.. and 1. The voluntary standard applicable to catalytic camp heaters.63 (2000) is conducted by operating the heater in a 100 ft3 room at air exchange rates of 0. 1. The peak CO concentration ranged from 68 ppm to 125 ppm and the steady state CO concentration ranged from 67 ppm to 109 ppm.1 percent. This report discusses the test results for the catalytic camp heater. A new standard is currently being written. At the time the project was conducted. 20-pound tank). During the test. CPSC staff was aware of only one manufacturer selling a small catalytic heater for recreational use. Although ANSI Z21.5. The combustion characteristics of the catalytic heater were evaluated by operating the heater in a 100 ft test chamber at air exchange rates of 0. This heater could not be attached to a larger fuel source (i. Two types of heaters were tested as part of the project: infrared radiant heaters and catalytic heaters. each standard has different combustion requirements. gas samples were continually withdrawn from the test chamber and analyzed for carbon monoxide (CO).0.0. The voluntary standard was revised in April 2000 to address the potential CO poisoning hazard that can result when propane heaters are operated in small-enclosed areas that are poorly ventilated. oxygen (O2 ). which are often referred to as camp heaters. Long term testing of two identical catalytic heaters was also performed to determine if the catalyst degraded over time.62 (draft) and ANSI Z21. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) began a project to document the carbon monoxide (CO) emissions from small portable propane heaters. 1.e. carbon dioxide (CO2 ). such as a tent.4 percent and the CO cannot exceed 250 ppm when the O2 is depleted to 15. During any part of the test. the CO concentration in the room cannot exceed 100 ppm and the O2 concentration cannot be depleted below 16 percent. Between 1996 and June 2001.5 hours on a 1-pound disposable bottle of propane.5 ACH. 2002).63 only applies to infrared radiant camp heaters. Portable Catalytic Camp Heaters for Use with Propane Gas. This heater was designed for use with a disposable 1-pound bottle of propane.e. “CO Emissions from Portable Propane Radiant Heaters” (Tucholski. 3 The following is a summary of CPSC staff’s findings: • • On average.62.4 percent. ANSI Z21. In addition. a room with no air exchanges). To date. Details of the test results for infrared radiant camp heaters are discussed in a separate report titled. 2001). The objective of the project was to determine if the heaters complied with the combustion requirements in the voluntary standard for Portable Type Gas Camp Heaters (ANSI Z21.0 and 1. staff at the U. which is typically used with camp heaters. The combustion test specified in ANSI Z21.

The catalytic heater did comply with the combustion requirements currently specified in the draft version of the standard for catalytic camp heaters (ANSI Z21..050 ppm to 13. 3. when the catalytic heater is tested in a 100 ft3 room at air exchange rates of 0. and 1. Replace the combustion requirements currently being proposed in the draft version of ANSI Z21. Because the catalytic heater can deplete the O2 concentration to such low levels. This was reflected by an increase in the hydrocarbon concentration in the chamber.4 percent during a closed room test. Keep the requirement currently specified in the draft proposal of ANSI Z21. The unreacted propane further increases the degree of hypoxia. This observation is based on operating two identical heaters on 100 disposable 1-pound bottles of propane (equivalent to approximately 650 hours of total use). which ranged from 1. • • • • Based on these test results.62 only checks the hydrocarbon emissions at an O 2 concentration of 19. As the oxygen decreased in the chamber. the heater poses a serious risk of hypoxia. 2 . the oxygen was depleted from an ambient concentration of 20. • When the catalytic heater was operated in a closed room (ACH ~ 0). 1.63 (i. 2.5 ACH.0.63-2000). 1. Emission tests were performed on each heater after every 20th bottle of propane (approximately every 130 hours).9 percent to 8.hours at these CO concentrations. CPSC staff plans to recommend the following to the CSA/Z21 Joint Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Refrigerators and Portable Camping Equipment: 1. The heater depleted the O 2 concentration below 16 percent in the test chamber and also exceeded the 100 ppm limit for CO in the test chamber. The catalytic heater did not comply with the combustion requirements specified in the standard for infrared radiant camp heaters (ANSI Z21. the catalytic heater became less effective at converting the propane and oxygen to carbon dioxide and water vapor.0. The degree of hypoxia is further exacerbated by the moderate CO concentration and by an increase in the carbon dioxide concentration that accompanied the depletion of oxygen. Limit the emissions of hydrocarbons (in the form of propane) to 500 ppm.5 ACH).62 to retest the catalytic heater after operating the heater for 100 hours.8 percent.440 ppm (5 to 64 percent of the lower explosion limit of propane in air). The current draft proposal of ANSI Z21.62-draft). CO ≤ 100 ppm and O2 ≥ 16 percent when the heater is operated in a 100 ft3 room at air exchange rates of 0.5.5. The heater’s catalyst did not appear to degrade over time.62 with the same combustion requirements specified in ANSI Z21. Since the catalytic camp heaters can be used in the same environments as those in which the infrared radiant camp heaters are used. the catalytic heater does not appear to pose a serious CO hazard to healthy adults when the CO concentration is considered by itself. 1.e. the catalytic camp heaters should meet the same requirements for CO emissions and O2 depletion as those specified for infrared radiant camp heaters.

63 applies to infrared radiant camp heaters. The standard was revised in April 2000 to address the potential CO poisoning hazard that can result when propane heaters are operated in small-enclosed areas that are poorly ventilated. This is different from infrared radiant heaters.. Between 1996 and June 2001. the heater was portable and operated off of a disposable 1pound bottle of propane). The entire heater assembly attaches directly to a disposable bottle of propane. Figure 1 shows a catalytic heater currently available to consumers. Two types of heaters were tested as part of the project: infrared radiant heaters and catalytic heaters. Although ANSI Z21. which generate a flame during the combustion process. The substrate is located within the burner head and is covered with a perforated metal plate. The catalytic heater consists of a circular burner head and a control valve to turn the gas on and off. Catalytic heaters differ from infrared radiant heaters in that heat is generated from a catalytic reaction involving propane and oxygen. staff at the U. The objective of the project was to determine if the heaters complied with the combustion requirements in the voluntary standard for Portable Type Gas Camp Heaters (ANSI Z21.S. 20-pound tank). such as tents. CPSC is aware of one CO poisoning death that occurred while a catalytic heater was being used in a confined space (Mah. The chemical reaction occurs at a temperature well below the flame temperature of typical infrared radiant heaters. such as a spark or pilot light. a catalytic heater was included as part of the project since the heater was being marketed for use inside tents and other indoor areas. which has the appearance of a woven ceramic fiber pad. At the time the project was conducted.63-2000). The catalytic material is dispersed throughout a catalyst-containing substrate.g. heat is also released. During the chemical reaction. which are small portable propane heaters. 3 . without the presence of a flame. However. such as a tent.INTRODUCTION * Background In 2001. the fuel and air mixture must be ignited by an external heat source. * The views expressed in this report are those of the CPSC staff and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Commission. In order to start the reaction. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) began a project to document the carbon monoxide (CO) emissions from camp heaters. this catalytic heater operates off of a bulk tank of propane (e. The catalytic heater generates heat by bringing the propane and oxygen (air) into contact with a platinum catalyst. CPSC staff was aware of only one manufacturer selling a small catalytic heater for recreational use (i.. A chemical reaction then occurs in which the propane and oxygen are converted primarily into carbon dioxide and water vapor. Since the completion of the project. trailers and fishing huts. staff is aware of a least one other manufacturer who is marketing a catalytic heater for use in enclosed areas. not a disposable bottle.e. 2001) Catalytic Heaters Catalytic heaters generate heat through a flameless catalytic reaction involving propane and oxygen.

5 air changes per hour. the concentration of CO cannot exceed 250 ppm when the oxygen concentration is depleted to 15. ANSI Z21. The standard was withdrawn in 1992 because the CSA/Z21 Joint Subcommittee on Gas Refrigerators and Portable Camping Equipment and a certification laboratory were unaware of any product that needed the standard for certification purposes. In general. A draft of the standard was sent out for public review and comment on November 15. 4 . The voluntary standard for portable infrared camp heaters is ANSI Z21. Furthermore. the heater is operated in a closed room with no air changes. American National Standard for Portable Catalytic Camp Heaters for Use with Propane Gas. and 1. the CO concentration in the room cannot exceed 100 ppm. The standard was revised in April 2000 to address the CO poisoning hazard that can result when gas-fired camp heaters are used in enclosed areas that are poorly ventilated. of the infrared type. the subcommittee established a task group on catalytic heaters that is responsible for the development of a new harmonized standard for catalytic camp heaters. American National Standard/CSA Standard for Portable Type Gas Camp Heaters. that are intended for outdoor use and have a maximum input rate up to and including 12. However.5. The combustion requirements currently being proposed in the draft version of the catalytic camp heater standard are the same combustion requirements as those of the previous standard written in 1977. The standard also specifies that the combustion test is to be repeated after operating the heater for 100 hours outside of the room. Catalytic heater Voluntary Standards The voluntary standard applicable to catalytic camp heaters is ANSI Z21.63 (2000) specifies that the O2 concentration in the room cannot be depleted below 16 percent at any time.4 percent.000 Btu/hr. In addition.62. The standard applies to unvented portable type gas-fired heaters. When the oxygen concentration in the room is depleted to 19. ANSI Z21. the concentration of CO cannot exceed 35 ppm and the concentration of hydrocarbons (unreacted fuels expressed as propane) cannot exceed 500 ppm. the draft standard has not been adopted.63 (2000). 1.63 (2000) specifies that when an infrared radiant heater is operated in a 100 ft3 room at air exchange rates of 0. At the June 2000 meeting of the CSA/Z21 Joint Subcommittee on Gas Refrigerators and Portable Camping Equipment. 2001.1 percent. To date. several catalytic heater manufacturers have recently requested that a new standard be written so that their products can be certified.0.Burner Head Control Knob Catalyst-Containing Substrate (located behind metal screen) Disposable Propane Bottle Figure 1.

* The test equipment described herein including specific manufacturers' products used to monitor or control testing. Bottles from two different propane suppliers were used and the bottles were purchased locally at several different retail stores. Table 1 provides a summary of the combustion gas analyzers. The Office of Compliance collected several of these heaters from a local retail store in October 1999. Propane Gas The heaters were attached directly to a disposable 1-pound bottle of propane. and unburnt hydrocarbons measured as propane (C3H8 ). 2001).9 ft. Mention of a specific product or manufacturer in this report does not constitute approval or endorsement by the Commission. Two identical catalytic heaters were tested as part of this project and are referred to as Heater 1 and Heater 2. 1-3% iso-butane (C4 H10 ). To enhance the heat transfer of the cooling system.6 ft. and/or record or obtain data. therefore a heating value of 2. A chilled water heat exchanger system was used to maintain the temperature inside the chamber at a set temperature.500 Btu/ft3 is often assumed for propane gas when the actual value is not known (AGA.TEST EQUIPMENT* AND SETUP Heater Samples At the time the project was conducted. Water vapor formed during the combustion process was removed from the gas sample prior to analysis using a chilled water heat exchange system. Test Chamber Experiments were conducted inside a 100 ft3 test chamber with an interior height of 6. 5 . CPSC staff was aware of only one manufacturer selling a small catalytic heater for recreational use. CO2 . Combustion Gas Sampling System Gas samples were continually withdrawn from the chamber through six equal length sample lines located within the chamber. fans were used to move air over the cooling coils of the heat exchanger. The gas sample was analyzed for CO. and less than 1% butane (C4H10 ). A heating value of 2.500 Btu/ft3 was assumed for the gas. A calorimeter was not available on site to measure the heating value of the propane gas. are specifically identified to allow others to attempt to re-produce this work should they so desire. and by changing the diameter of the opening for the supply air. The six sample lines were connected to a common manifold where the gas samples mixed. The chamber was constructed from sheets of fire retardant boards supported by a metal framework. A gas chromatograph analysis of gas samples taken from several bottles indicated that the propane gas consisted of approximately 90-95% propane (C3 H8 ). a width of 3. and a depth of 3. The cooling system could maintain the chamber temperature at 70°F ± 5°F for heaters rated less than approximately 5.000 Btu/hr. The heater has a nominal energy-input rate of 3.000 Btu/hr.9 ft. A pump conveyed the mixed gas sample to a series of gas analyzers. 2-9% ethane (C2 H6 ). which resulted in a well-mixed environment. The air exchange rate through the chamber could be varied from 0 to 6 air changes per hour (ACH) by controlling the speed of the supply fan and exhaust fan. These fans also circulated the air within the chamber. O2 .

Summary of combustion gas analyzers.000 ppm 0 – 10 percent 0 – 20. Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6 ) was used as the tracer gas for all tests. The SF6 analyzer contained an internal data acquisition program and recorded the concentration measurements directly to a 3. The air exchange rates obtained from the decay of SF6 were verified by the decay of CO. The mass of fuel consumed was displayed on the electronic scale and recorded manually. which occurred once the heater was off.100 percent of the Lower Explosive Limit * Measurement Range Carbon Monoxide (CO) Carbon Dioxide (CO2 ) Oxygen (O2 ) Hydrocarbon (C3 H8 ) Non-Dispersive Infrared Non-Dispersive Infrared Paramagnetic Non-Dispersive Infrared Rosemount Rosemount Rosemount Rosemount 880A 880A 755R 880A * A lower explosion limit of 2. The concentration of SF6 in the chamber was measured with an electron capture gas chromatograph analyzer (Largus Applied Technology. and hydrocarbon 6 . The system consisted of a personal computer. PM34 Delta Range). The only items not recorded by the data acquisition system were the concentration of SF6 and the mass displayed on the electronic scale. and hydrocarbon gas analyzers were zeroed with nitrogen gas. The program converted the voltage output from the gas analyzers into the appropriate concentration units (percent or parts per million). Gas Species Gas Analyzer Measuring Technique Manufacturer Model 0 – 200 ppm 0 – 1. the CO.1 percent propane in air was assumed (Segeler. Temperature The air temperature in the chamber was measured at six locations in the chamber using K-type thermocouples (28-gauge. Energy-Input Rate of Heater The energy-input rate of the heater was determined indirectly by measuring the amount of propane-fuel consumed by the heater over time. Data Acquisition A data acquisition system was used to collect and record the data. Each gas analyzer was calibrated according to the instructions specified by the manufacturer. CO2 . Air Exchange Rate The air exchange rate in the chamber was determined experimentally by measuring the exponential decay of a tracer gas once the heater shut off. 1965). The CO. CO 2 .5-inch floppy disk located on the analyzer.9 percent 0 . In general. The mass of fuel consumed during a given time interval was measured using an electronic scale (Mettler. O2 .000 ppm 0 – 3. Gas concentrations and temperatures were recorded every 30 seconds by the data acquisition program. EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE Emission Tests The gas analyzers were calibrated each morning prior to any tests being conducted. One thermocouple was located at the inlet of each sample tube.Table 1. Omega). and data acquisition software (LABTECH® CONTROL). Model 101 Autotrac). data acquisition interface hardware (Keithely).

The chamber’s cooling system was also started at this time. Equation 1 can be rearranged to solve for the quantity (kt) as follows: 7 . As the test proceeded. 40. Ct is the concentration of SF6 at time t. As a back up to the data recorded electronic ally by the data acquisition system.. The O2 analyzer was spanned using room air. the gas analyzer was spanned on each range using a gas appropriate for that range. and hydrocarbons were periodically recorded manually on a data sheet. and O2 reached equilibrium (steady state).. At every twentieth bottle (i. The SF6 analyzer was calibrated using a calibration gas supplied by the manufacturer of the SF6 analyzer. O2 .analyzers were then spanned using gases of known concentrations (EPA Protocol Standards). 100). The test proceeded until one of the following events occurred: (1) the concentrations of CO. The relationship between the fan speed (i. The decay of the SF6 gas was then monitored. Once the heater was off. An air exchange rate of 0. supply voltage) and the air exchange rate through the chamber was known prior to the tests. Co is the initial concentration of SF6 at the start of the decay. (2) the hydrocarbon concentration exceeded approximately 50 percent of the lower explosive limit of propane. Equation 1 was derived based on the following assumptions: the air in the chamber is well mixed. The propane to the heater was then ignited following the instructions specified by the heater manufacturer. the heater was placed in the test chamber and emissions tests were conducted at an air exchange rate of 0. the air exchange rate of the test chamber was set by adjusting the speed of the inlet fan and the exhaust fan.5 ACH was selected since this was the air exchange rate that was used for the first test with Heater 1. the mass displayed on the electronic scale was recorded on a data sheet at various time intervals. Long Term Testing Long term testing was performed on two identical catalytic heaters to determine if the catalyst degraded over time. the SF6 analyzer was started and a small volume of SF6 tracer gas was injected into the chamber. the heater was attached to a disposable bottle of propane and the heater was placed on the electronic scale inside of the chamber. The heater could be turned off at any time by reaching into the chamber through a pair of glove ports and rotating the fuel control knob on the heater to the "Off" position. two bottles per day were run through each heater.e. and the background concentration of SF6 is zero. The door to the chamber was closed and the data acquisition program was then started. The heaters were placed in the CPSC burn room in Building G. The emission test protocol was identical to the emission tests described in the previous section. CO2 . which has a volume of approximately 1500 ft3 and was fairly well ventilated. with the concentration of the gas being recorded every two minutes. the concentrations of CO. the SF6 does not get absorbed inside the chamber. The heaters were each attached to full 1-pound disposable bottle of propane and operated until the fuel was depleted (approximately 6. and t is time. After completing the initial setup of the chamber.5 ACH. CO2 . which was assumed to be 20. 80. 20. DATA ANALYSIS Air Exchange Rate The equation describing the air exchange rate in the chamber can be derived from a simple mass balance of SF6 in the chamber. k is the air exchange rate. Since the CO analyzer had three different ranges available. The empty bottle was then removed and replaced with a full bottle.94 percent. 60. or (3) all of the fuel was consumed from the bottle. The decay of SF6 with time can be described by Equation 1: Ct = C0 e − kt (1) In Equation 1. On average. To begin a test. No gas measurements were taken in the burn room while the heaters operated.5 hours).e.

where R is the correlation coefficient. and ∆m is the mass of propane fuel consumed during the time interval ∆t. For each test. The test was considered acceptable if the R2 term was greater than 0.000 ppm) propane in air (Segeler. a linear regression was performed on the SF6 decay data and the air exchange rate was obtained from the slope of this line. A HHV of 2. linear regression can be used to fit a line to the data. k is the air exchange rate. The density of the propane gas used in the calculation was 0.000 ppm )    100  (5) 8 . CO Generation Rate The rate at which the heater generated carbon monoxide. Energy Input Rate The energy-input rate of the heater.  % LEL  Hydrocarbon (ppm) = (21.    − k t −t   i +1 i    Vk C −C e  t  ti + 1  i   S =   t     i +1 − k t − t  i    i +1 1 − e      (3) In Equation 3. ρ is the density of the propane gas. Since the line should be linear. An R2 value of 1.1 percent (21. Q.500 Btu/ft3 was assumed for propane. The hydrocarbon concentration was converted to a parts-per-million (ppm) basis by assuming a LEL of 2. Between any two time intervals (ti and ti+1 ).0 indicates that the line obtained by linear regression fits the data perfectly.7 lb f/in2 . S t i+1 is the generation rate of CO at time ti+1 . HHV is the heating value of propane. Equation 3 was derived based on assuming that the air in the chamber is well mixed and that the CO is not absorbed inside the chamber. 1965).9. and Ct i is the concentration of CO at time ti .114 lb m/ft3 and is based on a temperature of 70°F and a pressure of 14. can be derived from a simple mass balance of CO in the chamber. An expression describing how well the line fits the data is the R2 term. the source strength can be calculated from the following equation. termed the CO source strength.C Ln  t C  o   = −k t   (2) Equation 2 indicates that a plot of the quantity Ln (Ct /Co ) versus time (t) should be linear and that the air exchange rate (k) will be equal to the slope of this line. Therefore. Hydrocarbon Concentration The hydrocarbon concentration was measured in terms of the lower explosion limit (LEL) of propane in air. was calculated indirectly from the mass of propane consumed by the heater over time. Ct i+1 is the concentration of CO at time ti+1 . The energy-input rate was calculated as follows:  C HHV  ∆m  Q= 1   ∆t    ρ  (4) In Equation 4. C1 is a conversion constant. V is the volume of the chamber.

The catalytic heater had a manufacturer’s specified energy-input rate of 3. CO concentration in the test chamber as a function of the air exchange rate. which is the voluntary standard for infrared radiant camp heaters.5 ACH.0 ACH. At all other air exchange rates. the 9 .25 1.0.5 ACH.75 2.5 ACH. Table A1 provides an overall summary of the data for the emissions tests of Heater 1 at various air exchange rates.63 (2000). which was conducted at an air exchange rate of 0. An exception to this occurred during the very first test of the heater.00 Air Exchange Rate in a 100 ft Room (ACH) Figure 2. Table A2 compares the test data to the combustion requirements in ANSI Z21. As the air exchange rate decreased below 1. the peak and steady state CO concentrations were approximately the same (± 1 ppm).5.5 ACH.63 (2000) CO Concentration (ppm) 100 80 60 Tests terminated before steady state achieved 40 20 0 0. 1. the steady state CO concentration remained above 100 ppm. At this rate.1 ACH of the target air exchange rate.00 0. The actual air exchange rate for each test was within ± 0. the difference between the peak and steady state CO concentrations increased.0. The peak CO concentration ranged from 68 ppm to 125 ppm and the steady state CO concentration ranged from 67 ppm to 109 ppm. the steady state CO concentration was less than 100 ppm.62 (draft).50 0. two CO concentrations are shown for each test condition: a peak value and a steady state value. The bolded horizontal line at 100 ppm is the maximum allowable CO concentration specified in ANSI Z21. At an air exchange rate of 1. The average energy-input rate for all tests was 3. When the air exchange rate was approximately 1.000 Btu/hr. Table A4 provides a summary of the data from the long-term testing of Heater 1 and Heater 2. Figure 2 illustrates how the maximum CO concentration in the test chamber varied with the air exchange rate.25 0. 140 Peak Steady State 120 Maximum Allowable CO ANSI Z21.75 1. In the figure.5 hours on a full 1-pound disposable bottle of propane. During this test. Table A3 compares the test data to the combustion requirements in ANSI Z21. the heater operated for approximately 6. 0.RESULTS A summary of the test data is provided in Appendix A.63 (2000). Emissions Tests Heater 1 was tested in the chamber at four target air exchange rates: 0.210 Btu/hr ± 50 Btu/hr.50 1.00 3 1. and 1.

The open circles represent discrete experimental data points for steady state O2 measurements made during tests conducted at different air exchange rates.9 hours. On average.00 Air Exchange Rate in a 100 ft room (ACH) Figure 3. The minimum O2 10 . The time required to deplete the O2 concentration from a normal room concentration of 20. The experimental data points in Figure 3 show that the catalytic heater depleted the O2 concentration below 16 percent when the air exchange rate was less than approximately 1.0 ACH. The time required for the CO concentration to reach steady state (tss ) was a function of the air exchange rate: at 0.63 (2000). The time required for the CO concentration to reach 100 ppm in the test chamber ranged from 1. respectively). thereby affecting the efficiency of the catalytic reaction. depending on the air exchange rate.50 1. which is the voluntary standard for infrared radiant camp heaters.00 3 1. The lower curve illustrates the theoretical steady state O2 concentration that would be expected assuming 100 percent of the fuel had reacted to form the products of combustion. tss ≈ 6 hrs.5 ACH.63 (2000) Theoretical O2 (Fraction of Fuel Reacted) 0.0 hour to 3. Operating the heater repeatedly at reduced air exchange rates may have caused the catalyst-containing substrate to become saturated with propane. and at 1.7 hours.25 1. the test was terminated after approximately 3. Based on this result and the results of the subsequent tests.5 ACH. The bolded horizontal line at 16 percent O2 is the minimum allowable O2 concentration specified in ANSI Z21.50 0.9 hours to 2.25 0. Three data sets are shown in Figure 3.75 1.1 hours.0).00 Tests terminated before steady state achieved Theoretical O 2 (100% of Fuel Reacted) Minimum Allowable O 2 ANSI Z21.9 percent to 16 percent ranged from 0.75 2. Figure 3 illustrates the relationship between the steady state O2 concentrations in the test chamber and the air exchange rate. at 1. The upper curve illustrates the theoretical steady state O2 concentration that would be expected from the CPSC test results.5 hours on a full 1-pound disposable bottle of propane. tss ≈ 3 hrs.5 ACH. tss ≈ 2 hrs. Steady state concentration of O2 in the chamber as a function of the air exchange rate. During the closed room test (ACH ~ 0.0 ACH. the variance between the peak and steady state CO concentrations appeared to occur only when consecutive tests were conducted in the test chamber at air exchange rates below 1. due to the buildup of hydrocarbons in the test chamber. 20 18 Steady State O 2 Concentration (%) 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 0.steady state CO concentration and the peak CO concentration were approximately equal (67 ppm and 68 ppm. the heater operated for approximately 6. which found that that less than 100 percent of the fuel had reacted.

concentration measured in the chamber was 8. assuming an O2 depletion rate based on the mass flow of the reacted propane (mreacted). Next. The amount of fuel that reacted was calculated by dividing the mass flow rate of the propane that actually reacted with the oxygen (mreacted) by the total mass flow rate of propane supplied to the burner (mtotal). For all tests. the hydrocarbon concentration ranged from 1. the mass flow rate of the unreacted propane (munreacted) necessary to achieve a measured steady state hydrocarbon concentration in the chamber was determined from a simple mass balance of propane in a 100 ft3 room at the specified air exchange rate. since the tests were terminated before steady state was obtained. The left side of the graph gives the hydrocarbon concentration in terms of the lower explosion limit (LEL) of propane gas in air and the right side of the graph gives the concentration on a parts-per-million (ppm) basis.9 percent and assuming an O2 depletion rate based on the mass flow rate of propane.8 percent in approximately 3. the catalytic heater became less efficient in converting all of the propane into the products of combustion. 3 (6) Figure 4 illustrates how the maximum concentration of hydrocarbons (measured as propane) in the chamber varied with the air exchange rate. This observation is further substantiated by the fact that the oxygen was not being consumed at a rate necessary to burn 100 percent of the fuel being supplied to the burner (Figure 3). Figure 5 is based on the steady state hydrocarbon concentrations measured in the chamber. Due to the buildup of hydrocarbons in the test chamber during this test. 11 . An increase in the hydrocarbon concentrations indicates that the catalyst did not convert 100 percent of the propane to carbon dioxide and water. The two theoretical curves shown in Figure 3 were determined from a simple mass balance of O2 in a 100 ft3 room.050 ppm to 13. the mass flow rate of the propane that actually reacted with the oxygen (mreacted) was calculated by subtracting the mass flow rate of the unreacted propane (munreated) from the total mass flow rate of propane being supplied to the heater (mtotal).440 ppm (64 percent LEL) occurred during the closed room test and would have likely been higher had the test not been terminated early due to safety concerns. as evidenced by the hydrocarbon concentrations measured in the chamber. The lower curve assumes 100 percent of the available fuel had reacted to form products of combustion.0). the steady state O2 concentration was calculated from a simple mass balance of O 2 in a 100 ft room. the heater was shut off prior to the O2 concentration reaching steady state. mreacted = mtotal . The upper curve is derived from the CPSC experimental data and accounts for the fact that some fraction of the available fuel did not react. no calculations were made for the closed room tests (ACH ~ 0). the concentration of hydrocarbons increased. assuming an ambient and initial O2 concentrations of 20. The O2 concentrations that were used to generate the upper curve were calculated as follows.440 ppm (5 to 64 percent LEL). It was assumed that the hydrocarbon concentration measured in the chamber was propane.munreacted Finally. First. The maximum hydrocarbon concentration of 13. As the O2 concentration decreased in chamber.8 percent and occurred during a closed room test (ACH ~ 0. The O 2 concentration was depleted to 8. Therefore. The hydrocarbon concentration was still increasing during the closed room tests when the test was terminated. As the air exchange rate decreased.7 hours. Figure 5 illustrates the relationship between the amount of fuel that reacted to the O2 concentration in the chamber.

200 2.800 14.400 6.000 18.500 8.300 4.00 1.25 0.75 2.21.900 Hydrocarbon (C3H8) Concentration (ppm) 16.600 10.75 1. 100 90 80 Amount of Fuel Reacted (%) 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Steady State O2 Concentration (%) Figure 5.25 3 100 90 Tests terminated before steady state achieved 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 1.700 12. Steady state hydrocarbon concentration in the chamber as a function of the air exchange rate. 12 Hydrocarbon (C3H8) Concentration (LEL) .00 Air Exchange Rate in a 100 ft room (ACH) Figure 4.00 0.100 0 0.50 1. Amount of fuel that reacted as a function of the steady state O2 concentration in the chamber.50 0.

800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 O2 Concentration (%) Figure 6. Below an O2 concentration of approximately 12 percent. the heater generated a negligible amount of CO. In general. the infrared radiant camp heaters produced CO more rapidly as the O2 concentration was depleted below approximately 16 percent (Tucholski. CO generation rate of the catalytic heater as a function of the O2 concentration in the chamber. CO Generation Rate (cc/hr) 13 . each heater was placed in the test chamber and an emissions test was preformed at an air exchange rate of 0. each heater was operated for approximately 650 hours. it does not appear that the catalyst degraded over time. thereby affecting the CO emissions from the heater. which accounts for the scatter in the data. Figure 7 illustrates the steady state CO concentration obtained in the test chamber for every 20th test with Heater 1 and Heater 2. As the O2 concentration decreased below approximately 17 percent O2 . A summary of the data is provided in Table A4. the heaters operated for approximately 6. Therefore. the heater generated less CO.5 hours per bottle. On average. Although there was a slight variance in the CO concentration between tests (maximum ∆CO = 15 ppm). For all tests. The data shown is for all tests. the heater generated CO at rates up to 461 cc/hr.5 ACH.Figure 6 illustrates how the CO generation rate of the catalytic heater varied as a function of the O2 concentration in the chamber. At every 20th bottle (~130 hours). Long Term Testing Long term testing of two identical heaters (Heater 1 and Heater 2) was conducted to determine whether the catalyst degraded over time. Each heater was operated on a total of 100 disposable 1-pound bottles of propane. 2002). The catalytic heater generated CO at a rate that was different than the infrared radiant camp heaters.

Table 2 provides a summary of the combustion test specified in each standard.4 percent O2 ≤ 250 ppm at 15.63 only applies to infrared radiant heaters.63 (2000) ANSI Z21. The standard was withdrawn in 1992.5.5 hrs) Test #60 (~390 hrs) Test #20 (~130 hrs) Test #80 (~520 hrs) Test #40 ~(260 hrs) Test #100 (~650 hrs) Figure 7.63).1 percent O2 No Requirement ≤ 500 ppm at 19. Steady state CO concentrations obtained in the test chamber for Heaters 1 and 2 during the long term testing of the heaters.5 ACH Until flame extinguishes or equilibrium reached ≤ 100 ppm throughout the test ≥ 16 percent throughout the test No Requirement 14 .63 (2000) Portable Gas Fired Camp Heaters 100 ft 3 0. Table 2.100 90 Steady State CO Concentration (ppm) 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Heater #1 Catalytic Heater Sample Heater #2 ACH = 0. Although ANSI Z21. but a new standard is currently being written. a catalytic heater was included as part of the project since the catalytic heater was being marketed for use inside tents. 1. 1.5 t3 Room Volume = 100 f Test #1 (~6.62 (draft) and ANSI Z21.0. The applicable voluntary standard for catalytic camp heaters is ANSI Z21. Summary of the combustion tests specified in ANSI Z21.62.4 percent O2 ANSI Z21.62 (draft) Portable Catalytic Camp Heater Room Volume Air Exchange Rate Length of Test CO O2 Hydrocarbons Not Specified 0 ACH Until specific O2 concentration reached ≤ 35 ppm at 19. The standard was revised in April 2000 to address the potential CO poisoning hazard that can result when gas-fired heaters are operated in small enclosed areas that are poorly ventilated. DISCUSSION In 2001. CPSC staff began a project to document the CO emissions from currently available camp heaters to determine if the heaters complied with the combustion requirements in the voluntary standard for portable type gas camp heaters (ANSI Z21. such as a tent.

CPSC staff does not agree with allowing the CO concentration to reach 250 ppm in a closed room. Since the CO concentration in the chamber exceeded 100 ppm during several of the tests.62-draft) only limits the CO concentration at two specific O2 concentrations.63). where severe headache.63 (2000) should not pose a CO poisoning threat to healthy consumers when the heaters are brought into enclosed spaces. (5 ft 3 O2 /1 3 ft C3 H8 )(ft 3 C3 H8 /2. At an O 2 concentration of 19. 1 2 Personal communication from Sandra E. Depending on an exposed individual’s activity level. Although the catalytic heater would meet the CO emission requirement being proposed in the new standard for catalytic camp heaters. Steady state was achieved in approximately 2 to 6 hours. O2 Depletion Catalytic heaters consume oxygen during the reaction to generate heat and therefore will deplete the oxygen in a small. When the catalytic heater was tested in a closed room (ACH ~ 0). the CO concentration in the chamber ranged from 24 ppm to 27 ppm at an O2 concentration of 19. depending on the air exchange rate. assuming an ambient and initial O2 concentration of 20.1 percent. the steady state CO concentration ranged from 67 ppm to 109 ppm. 2 Figure 8 illustrates that for a constant energy-input rate. This point is better illustrated by Figure 8.9 percent. poorly ventilated room. the same limit as that specified in the standard for infrared radiant camp heaters. This assumes that 5 ft 3 of oxygen is consumed for 1 ft 3 of propane gas and the heating value of propane is 2. the CO concentration cannot exceed 35 ppm. Assuming a limited exposure time of up to 6. the CO cannot exceed 250 ppm. 2002).4 percent. the catalytic heater does not appear to pose a serious CO hazard to healthy adults when the CO concentration is considered by itself. this could result in carboxyhemoglobin levels ranging from 24 to 29 percent.CO Emissions When the catalytic heater was operated at the test conditions specified in the standard for infrared radiant camp heaters (ANSI Z21. Directorate for Health Sciences. and at an O2 concentration of 15.500 Btu)(1.5 hours at these CO concentrations. Figure 8 was constructed from a simple mass balance of O 2 in a 100 ft3 room. which shows how the steady state oxygen concentration in a room is a function of the energy-input rate of the heater and the air exchange rate through the room.000 Btu/hr) = 2 ft 3 O2 /hr for every 1000 Btu/hr of propane gas burned. When the CO emissions from the catalytic camp heater are compared to those of a typical radiant camp heater. the current draft of the voluntary standard for portable catalytic camp heaters (ANSI Z21. the catalytic heater generated much less CO (Tucholski. the catalytic heater would not comply with the CO requirement ANSI Z21. Inkster.500 Btu/ft 3 . Camping heaters that meet the CO emissions requirement in ANSI Z21. During the same tests. It was also assumed that the propane heater consumed O2 at a constant rate of 2 ft3 /hr for every 1000 Btu/hr of propane burned.1 percent. CPSC staff recommends that the CO concentration be limited to 100 ppm. nausea. Therefore. vomiting and mental confusion could be expected.4 percent.63 (2000). the steady state O2 concentration in the room decreases as the air exchange rate decreases. Sustained exposure to a CO concentration of 250 ppm for 6 to 7 hours could pose a serious CO hazard to healthy adults. CPSC. 15 . the CO concentrations ranged from 101 ppm to 110 ppm at an O2 concentration of 15. Unlike the standard for infrared radiant camp heaters that limits the CO concentration to 100 ppm throughout the entire test.1 Instead.

000 Btu/hr) Figure 8. abnormal fatigue upon exertion.8 percent. respiration stops and a few minutes later heart action ceases 16 . Table 3 summaries the health effects associated with reduced oxygen concentrations. muscular coordination slightly disturbed Emotional upsets. gasping respiration. Unlike infrared radiant heaters that generate a flame during the combustion process and require a certain oxygen concentration to sustain the flame. The flame on a typical infrared radiant heater self-extinguishes when the O2 concentration is depleted below approximately 14 percent (Tucholski. may collapse and although aware of circumstances be unable to move or cry out Convulsive movements. Because the catalytic heaters can deplete the O2 concentration to low levels. impaired respiration Nausea and vomiting.0 ACH Propane Heater 3 Room Volume = 100 ft Initial/Background [O2] = 20. inability to move freely.9% 17 16 3. 2002).0 ACH 14 13 12 1. Reduced oxygen concentrations and health effects (adapted from Burton. The degree of hypoxia is further exacerbated by the moderate CO concentration and by an increase in the carbon dioxide concentration that accompanied the depletion of oxygen (see Table A1).0 ACH 6. When the test was terminated. 1996) Oxygen Concentration (%) 20.16 10 – 14 6 – 10 <6 Symptoms Normal concentration in the air at sea level Breathing and pulse rate increased. Table 3. Catalytic heaters are being marketed as safe for indoor use. the catalytic heaters have no flame and can operate at reduced oxygen levels. loss of consciousness may occur. Tests with the catalytic heater at low air exchange rates showed that the catalytic heater was capable of operating at much lower O2 concentrations. The test was terminated early due to the build-up of hydrocarbons in the chamber.0 ACH 1. the O2 concentration was depleted to 8.5 ACH 11 0.21 20 19 18 Steady State O2 Concentration (%) 5. CPSC staff is concerned with the possible health effects from reduced oxygen concentrations.5 ACH 10 9 8 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Energy-Input Rate of Heater (1.9 12 .0 ACH 15 2. the oxygen concentration was still decreasing. Predicted steady state O2 concentrations in a 100 ft3 room as a function of the energy-input rate of a propane heater and the air exchange rate of the room. During the closed room test.

Table 4 lists the maximum energy-input rate that a propane heater can operate at without depleting the O2 concentration below 16 percent. such as in mobile homes. but not deplete the O2 concentration below 16 percent. When the oxygen level drops below 18 percent. which then generates a current. O2 ≥ 16 percent in a 100 ft3 room at air exchange rates of 0.5 1.62-draft) does limit the hydrocarbon emission to 500 ppm when the O2 concentration has been reduced to 19. Some manufacturers of infrared radiant heaters have incorporated an ODS on their heaters (Tucholski. At the minimum air exchange rate of 0. For the three air exchange rates specified in ANSI Z21. and 1. Hydrocarbon Emissions As the O 2 concentration decreased in the chamber. Calculated energy-input rate that a propane heater can operate at without depleting the O2 concentration below 16 percent in a 100 ft3 room.4 percent in a room with no air changes.63) does not address the issue of hydrocarbon emissions. 2002).0. the hydrocarbon concentration was approximately 210 ppm (1 percent LEL) at an O 2 concentration of 19.5 Energy-Input Rate (Btu/hr) 1.440 ppm (64 percent LEL) prior to the test being terminated. Camping heaters that meet the O2 depletion requirement in ANSI Z21. a propane heater can operate at a maximum energy-input rate of 1. 0. and boats. Table 4. During the closed room tests. CPSC staff recommends that the catalytic camp heaters meet the same requirement for O2 depletion as the requirement for infrared radiant camp heaters (i. then the heater must incorporate some mechanism to shut the heater off when the O2 concentration starts to be depleted.5 ACH). One such mechanism is an Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS).440 ppm (5 to 64 percent of the LEL of propane gas in air).700 If the catalytic heater is to operate at an energy-input rate greater than 1. causing the thermocouple to cool and the gas valve to close.450 3.4 percent. 1.050 ppm to 13. The 17 . The pilot flame is used to heat the thermocouple.5 ACH. Although Heater 1 would meet the hydrocarbon emission requirement currently being proposed in the new standard for catalytic heaters. CPSC staff is also aware of one catalytic heater manufacturer that incorporates an ODS on high-end catalytic heaters designed for use indoors. Therefore.e. For all tests.220 Btu/hr without depleting the O2 concentration below 16 percent in a 100 ft3 room. and a solenoid gas valve.. the proposed standard does not address hydrocarbon emissions at lower O2 concentrations.220 Btu/hr. An ODS consists of a thermocouple..The current draft of the standard for portable catalytic camp heaters (ANSI Z21. the proposed standard for catalytic camp heaters does not adequately protect the consumer from high emissions of hydrocarbons. the pilot flame selfextinguishes.63 (i. For both tests with no air changes. 1. a pilot flame. the hydrocarbon concentration at the end of the test ranged from 1.5.0 1.63 (2000) should not pose a health risk to healthy consumers when the heaters are brought into enclosed spaces.5 ACH).e. allowing more of the propane to pass through the heater unreacted.220 2. The current standard for portable infrared camp heaters (ANSI Z21.0 and 1. sufficient enough to keep the solenoid gas valve open.62-draft) does not address the issue of oxygen depletion. the standard currently being proposed for portable catalytic camp heaters (ANSI Z21. However. Air Exchange Rate (air changes per hour) 0.5. the catalytic reaction became less effective. the hydrocarbon concentration reached 13. cabins.

62) specifies that the combustion test is to be repeated after operating the heater for 100 hours. The follow ing is a summary of CPSC staff’s findings on the testing of the catalytic heater: • The peak CO concentration ranged from 68 ppm to 125 ppm and the steady state CO concentration ranged from 67 ppm to 109 ppm. ANSI Z21. When the catalytic heater was operated in a closed room (ACH ~ 0).63-2000). The unreacted propane further increases the degree of hypoxia.050 ppm to 13. The degree of hypoxia is further exacerbated by the moderate CO concentration and by an increase in the carbon dioxide concentration that accompanied the depletion of oxygen. As the oxygen decreased in the chamber. Although the catalytic heater is not within the scope of ANSI Z21. Long Term Testing Long term testing of two identical heaters was conducted to determine whether the heater’s catalyst degraded over time. This observation is based on operating two identical heaters on 100 disposable 1-pound bottles of propane (approximately 650 hours).440 ppm (5 to 64 percent of the lower explosion limit of propane in air). The current draft of the standard for catalytic camp heaters (ANS Z21.5. Because the catalytic heater can deplete the O2 concentration to such low levels.8 percent. A new standard is currently being written for catalytic camp heaters. which occurred every 20th bottle (~130 hrs).63.unreacted propane further acts to increase the degree of hypoxia experienced by an individual.. the heater poses a serious risk of hypoxia. it was included as part of the project since the catalytic heater was being marketed for use inside tents and other indoor areas. the catalyst did not appear to degrade overtime.62. To address this issue.9 percent to 8. CPSC staff recommends that this portion of the combustion test be retained in the standard. CONCLUSIONS CPSC staff tested a catalytic heater as part of a project to document the CO emissions from currently available camp heaters in order to determine if the heaters complied with the combustion requirements in the voluntary standard Portable Type Gas Camp Heaters (ANSI Z21.63 (2000) are for camp heaters (e. CPSC staff recommends limiting the hydrocarbon emissions from catalytic camp heaters to 500 ppm throughout the entire test when the catalytic heater is tested in a 100 ft3 room at air exchange rates of 0.0 and 1. ANSI Z21. The voluntary standard applicable for catalytic camp heaters is ANSI Z21. the oxygen was depleted from an ambient concentration of 20.62 (draft) limits the CO and hydrocarbon emissions at specific O2 concentrations.5 ACH. the two standards have different combustion requirements. • • • 18 . Although both ANSI Z21. Based on the CO concentrations obtained during the chamber tests. 1. which was equivalent to approximately 650 hours of use. the catalytic heater does not appear to pose a serious CO hazard to healthy adults when the CO concentration is considered by itself. Each heater was operated on a total of 100 disposable 1-pound bottles of propane. This was reflected by an increase in the hydrocarbon concentration in the chamber. The heater’s catalyst did not appear to degrade over time. the catalytic heater became less effective at converting the propane and oxygen to carbon dioxide and water vapor. which ranged from 1. but the standard was withdrawn in 1992.5 hours at these CO concentrations.62 (draft) and ANSI Z21.g. small portable heaters that typically use a disposable 1-pound bottle of propane). but does not limit the depletion of O2 .63 (2000) limits the CO emissions and O2 depletion throughout the entire test. thereby affecting the CO emissions from the heater. Assuming a limited exposure time of up to 6.

U. Division of Hazard Analysis. when the catalytic heater is tested in a 100 ft3 room at air exchange rates of 0. Directorate for Epidemiology and Health Sciences. OH (1977)..62 to retest the catalytic heater after operating the heater for 100 hours. April 25.Emission tests were performed on each heater after every 20th bottle of propane (approximately every 130 hours). Mah. 2001). 3.5 ACH. 1. 3rd edition. American National Standard for Portable Catalytic Camp Heaters for Use with Propane Gas. the catalytic camp heaters should meet the same requirements for CO emissions and O2 depletion as those specified for infrared radiant camp heaters.0.62 with the same combustion requirements specified in ANSI Z21. Switzer. and John Worthington. Ron Reichel. Limit the emissions of hydrocarbons (in the form of propane) to 500 ppm. 1st edition. Scott Snyder. American National Standard/CSA Standard for Portable Type Gas Camp Heaters. REFERENCES American Gas Association (AGA). Memorandum to D.63-2000/CSA 11. Division of Health Effects.63 (i. Fundamentals of Gas Combustion.5. C. Burton. Cleveland. 2. The catalytic heater did not comply with the combustion requirements specified in the standard for infrared radiant camp heaters (ANSI Z21.5.62 only checks the hydrocarbon emissions at an O 2 concentration of 19. New York. Replace the combustion requirements currently being proposed in ANSI Z21. Memorandum to D. CSA International.62). J. NY.4 percent during a closed room test. Since the catalytic camp heaters can be used in the same environments as those in which the infrared radiant camp heaters are used.62-1977.e. The current draft proposal of ANSI Z21.2-2000. Richard Schenck. OH (2000). Hazard Sketch of Portable Type Propane Camping Heaters. The Industrial Press. L.5 ACH). Keep the requirement currently specified in the draft proposal of ANSI Z21. CO ≤ 100 ppm and O2 ≥ 16 percent when the heater is operated in a 100 ft3 room at air exchange rates of 0. 1.. and 1. G.0. 1996. Possible Health Effects from the Reduced Oxygen Associated with the Use of Camping Heaters. ANSI Z21. • • The catalytic heater did comply with the combustion requirements currently specified in the draft version of the standard for catalytic camp heaters (ANSI Z21. US Consumer Product Safety Commission.C. D. Tucholski.63-2000). Catalog No. ANSI Z21. 1st edition. (2001). The heater depleted the O 2 concentration below 16 percent in the test chamber and also exceeded the 100 ppm limit for CO in the test chamber. Gas Engineers Handbook. 19 . 1. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The following individuals contributed to the overall proje ct: Chris Brown. XH0105. CPSC staff plans to recommend the following to the CSA/Z21 Joint Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Refrigerators and Portable Camping Equipment: 1. American Gas Association (AGA). (1965).. 1st edition. Segeler. Based on these test results.S. Directorate for Epidemiology. Cleveland. Consumer Product Safety Commission (October 11. Washington.

CO Emissions from Portable Propane Radiant Heaters.. Consumer Product Safety Commission (October 2002).S. Directorate for Laboratory Sciences.Tucholski. D. U. 20 .

63-2000 Time CO Reached 100 ppm (hrs) 1.440 9.260 1.62 6.35 6.90 0.65 Reason Heater Shut Off1 LEL LEL EB EB EB SS EB SS EB CO Generation Rate (cc/hr) Max Min Avg 347 351 355 255 378 461 348 410 424 65 35 82 46 65 144 144 144 149 205 208 155 103 164 308 289 364 375 Note LEL = LEL of propane gas > 50 % in chamber.1 Fail Fail Fail Fail Fail Pass Pass Energy -Input Rate (Btu/hr) Maximum CO (ppm) Minimum O2 (%) Pass/Fail ANSI Z21.600 9.4 2.44 1.0 12.3 11.43 0.360 2.5 16.63-2000) Test # Target 9 1 5 6 2 7 3 0.9 17.92 N/A N/A Time O2 Depleted to 16% (hrs) 1.0 12.44 1. EB = Empty Bottle of propane.60 6.46 0.250 3.APPENDIX A.3 15.140 114 68 113 116 106 92 90 12.8 3.4 2.67 6.0 12.9 17.250 3.20 1.1 Maximum CO2 (%) 7.5 1.19 1.98 1.160 3.230 3.160 3.15 1.240 12.5 1.98 1.68 3.90 5.270 3.14 N/A 1.5 16.8 5.140 Maximum CO (ppm) 114 125 114 68 113 116 106 92 90 Steady State COss (ppm) 77 87 96 67 97 109 105 92 90 Minimum O2 (%) 8.5 5.0 1.9 7.54 3. Comparison of the test data to the combustion requirements in the standard for infrared radiant camp heaters (ANSI Z21.730 1.250 3.5 Air Exchange Rate (1/hr) Actual 0.10 0.240 3.3 15. SUMMARY OF TEST DATA Table A1 – Summary of the emission tests of Heater 1.250 3.43 0.47 0. Test # 4 8 9 1 5 6 2 7 3 Air Exchange Energy Rate Input Rate (1/hr) (Btu/hr) 0.240 3. and O2 Achieved Table A2. CO2.8 9.46 0.12 N/A N/A 21 .9 5.5 0.47 0.020 13.0 1.250 3.050 Time Heater Shut Off (hr) 3.3 Maximum HC (% LEL) 62 64 44 60 47 16 13 6 5 (ppm) 13.3 11. SS = Steady State of CO.13 1.90 0.10 0.65 3.140 3.6 15.5 3.54 3.270 3.230 3.82 2.52 6.870 3.6 15.5 0.20 3.

250 CO at 19.4 5.4 5.350 3.6 12.281 3.5 Maximum HC (% LEL) 60 38 35 40 34 35 47 26 37 37 37 37 Time Heater Shut Off (hr) 6.5 5.62-draft) Air Exchange Rate (1/hr) Test # Target 4 8 0 0 Actual 0.4% O2 (ppm) 101 110 HC at 19.Maximum Exchange Input Rate CO Rate (Btu/hr) (ppm) (1/hr) 0.4 5.8 11.4% O2 (ppm) 24 27 CO at 19.50 6.17 1.340 3.42 6.35 6. Test Sample Test Number 1 20 40 60 80 100 1 20 40 60 80 100 Air Energy .4% O2 (%LEL) 1 1 (ppm) 210 210 Time O2 Depleted to 19.63 6.140 3.312 3.25 6.10 0.6 5.67 6.9 12.62-draft Pass Pass Table A4 – Summary of the extended test of Heater 1 and Heater 2.54 0.0 5.52 6.27 Time O2 Depleted to 15.56 0.6 Maximum CO2 (%) 5.234 3.53 0. Comparison of the test data to the combustion requirements in the proposed standard for catalytic camp heaters (ANSI Z21.46 0.10 Energy -Input Rate (Btu/hr) 3.3 12.140 3.330 3.1 12.54 0.2 5.312 3.9 5.3 5.6 12.5 5.47 6.370 3.53 0.270 3.17 Pass/Fail ANSI Z21.42 0.8 13.4 12.50 0.55 0.50 6.3 13.62 0.53 0.45 6.Table A3.308 68 82 75 74 79 71 74 84 81 85 79 83 Steady State CO (ppm) 67 82 75 74 79 71 73 84 81 85 79 83 Minimum O2 (%) 12.4% (hrs) 0.25 CO Generation Rate (cc/hr) Max 255 297 213 231 224 159 176 216 192 196 188 274 Min 46 80 66 69 76 59 46 70 71 38 66 94 Avg 103 151 128 133 139 113 103 150 132 131 119 153 1 2 22 .59 3.27 0.3 12.43 6.6 5.9 12.1% (min) 1.250 3.

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