Ensuring the continued supply of critical carbon dioxide.

A collaborative effort to safeguard America’s supply chain by providing facts, resources and information about the vital role carbon dioxide plays in our economy.

Carbon Dioxide

An Essential Ingredient

Most of the world is seeking to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, however, carbon dioxide is a necessary and valuable gas.

A certain level of carbon dioxide is essential for life. Humans need carbon dioxide to regulate respiration and control blood ph. Plants use carbon dioxide to create oxygen through photosynthesis.

In addition to the biological need for carbon dioxide, CO2 has many critical applications in today’s society.

Learn More

The CO2 Solutions Coalition has prepared the following materials and case studies to give you an in-depth look at the critical applications of carbon dioxide and the effects a shortage will have.


Critical Applications of

Engineers working on water treatment plant with laptop

Water Treatment

Carbon dioxide is used in water and wastewater treatment to control pH. Alternatives, such as acid and chlorine, are available, but come with their own considerations and requirements.


Dry ice is often used in many medical applications such as flash freezing biological samples, removing growths, and providing refrigeration for vaccines during transport. Carbon dioxide is also used with oxygen and other gases in specialty gas mixtures to help diagnose disease like COPD.

America's Aging Infrastructure Under Construction


Carbon dioxide is commonly used in welding as a shielding gas, particularly in the process known as Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding or Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW). In this context, CO2 serves as a shielding gas to protect the weld from the atmosphere, preventing oxidation and ensuring a clean, strong weld.

Raw Ribeye Steak

Food Safety

Carbon dioxide can be used to preserve or freeze foods. Liquid carbon dioxide or dry ice is used to quickly freeze foods. Carbon dioxide is also used throughout the meat and poultry industry in such applications as animal stunning and to keep meat cool during blending.

Beverage Carbonation

Carbon dioxide puts the “fizz” into carbonated beverages. Without carbon dioxide, many beverages, such as soda, soft drinks, and beer, would be very flat.



Carbon dioxide is used to create enhanced growing atmospheres in greenhouses and similar growing environments. The enhanced atmosphere promotes better, faster growth with higher product yields.

Putting it in Perspective

Today, use of Carbon Dioxide in North America for these critical applications amounts to approximately

of total CO2 emissions.

Because there are few, if any, alternatives for CO2 in many of these applications, and because the amount CO2 used is minimal in comparison to that being emitted by transportation, electrical generation and industrial processes, it is crucial to maintain CO2 availability for these uses.


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