Bulletin of the National Speleological Society - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 30 Number 4: 131-136 - October 1968

A publication of the National Speleological Society

An Electrolytic Field Device for the Titration of CO2 in Air
F. Delecour, F. Weissen and C. Ek


A technique for determining the CO2 content of cave air is described. The titration set, used by agronomists and soil scientists for analysis of soil atmosphere, has proved to be practical and easily manipulated underground. The procedure is based upon an electrolytic titration of CO2 absorted by a 0.1 NaCl solution. The apparatus is enclosed in a portable wooden case.

Some preliminary results are reported. Attention is given to the gradients of the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere of some caves: along a shaft, along a scree fan extending from a fractured zone, and along a subterranean stream. The observed range of CO2 content of cave air ranges from that in the free atmosphere in nineteen times more in a fissure. The most frequent values are two to eight times in spacious caves, compared to free air.

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