Ethylene (C2H4)


Ethylene (C2H4) is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two double-bonded carbon atoms, each with single bonds to two hydrogen atoms. It is a colorless, flammable, and sweet-smelling gas that is lighter than air. Ethylene is naturally produced by plants and fruits where it plays a role in stress responses and acts as a catalyst for developmental processes such as fruit ripening and seed germination. It also is produced by soil microbial populations.

Since the discovery of ethylene’s role in fruit ripening, ethylene petrochemical manufacturing has become an essential element of agricultural and industrial production. It is formed through steam cracking of various hydrocarbons (e.g. ethane) to be used as a fruit-ripening agent, in cosmetics, in cleaning agents, and, primarily, in plastics. However, in addition to being combustible, ethylene is a volatile organic compound participating in reactions creating ground level ozone. Due to these factors, as well as its effect on plant life, precisely monitoring ethylene is vital to understanding both natural and anthropogenic ethylene production and effects.

Picarro has designed and produced two gas concentration analyzers that precisely measure ethylene for laboratory and field studies.


Product Measurements Applications

G2106 Gas Concentation Analyzer

Detect and measure ethylene in fruit and flower ripening, natural gas production, or use ethylene production as a proxy for N2 fixation.