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I understand carbonated drinks in allowed in cabin, but, is it allowed in air cargo transportation, when you ship in bulk?

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    $\begingroup$ Why would it be dangerous? $\endgroup$ – egid May 9 '15 at 17:03
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    $\begingroup$ @egid Are soft-drink bottles strong enough to cope if the plane depressurized at FL350? I guess so but, if not, you could get a lot of CO2 released in an already dangerous situation. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby May 9 '15 at 20:50
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidRicherby Chemistry SE suggests that they're already nearly 3.5 atmospheres, so I doubt 0.7 additional atmospheres will make that much difference. $\endgroup$ – reirab May 9 '15 at 22:54
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Each operator is of course entitled to apply stricter regulations, but there's no restriction against carbonated drinks in the IATA-DGR (based on the ICAO TI, which sets out the framework for dangerous goods regulations).

The maximum amount of pure CO2 an operator may transport in approved packaging (iaw. IATA-DGR) is:

  • In gaseous form (UN1013): 150 kg on cargo only aircraft, and 75 kg in passenger/cargo aircraft.
  • In liquid form (UN2187): 500 kg on cargo only aircraft, and 50 kg in passenger/cargo aircraft.
  • In solid form "dry ice" (UN1845): 200 kg for both cargo and passenger/cargo aircraft
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    $\begingroup$ of course dissolved CO2 in carbonated drinks falls under neither of the listed categories... $\endgroup$ – jwenting May 9 '15 at 20:37
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    $\begingroup$ @reirab That's like arguing that you should be allowed to take a block of ice through security because it's not a liquid. Sure, the carbon dioxide is in the form of H2CO3 while it's in the bottle, under pressure but, once that pressure is released, it splits back into water and CO2. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby May 9 '15 at 23:01
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidRicherby Since the regulation itself specifically treats it differently depending on state in this case, it seems reasonable to assume that a state not listed wouldn't be covered, especially when it's not even the same chemical at that point. I'd guess that there are probably different regulations concerning carbonic acid, in which case those should be followed. $\endgroup$ – reirab May 10 '15 at 2:35
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    $\begingroup$ @reirab Actually, the whole carbonic acid thing is a red herring. The term "carbonic acid" is used to denote both the substance H2CO3 and a solution of carbon dioxide in water (CO2+H2O). When carbon dioxide is dissolved in water, the great majority of it is literally that: carbon dioxide dissolved in water. Only a tiny fraction reacts to form H2CO3. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby May 10 '15 at 9:40
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    $\begingroup$ This Chemistry.SE question says a can of soda contains about 2.2 g of CO2. If we take the 75 kg limit, that's about 34000 cans of soda. This much soda will weight about 12 tonnes. $\endgroup$ – Nate Eldredge May 12 '15 at 7:46
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No, Carbonated drinks are generally not dangerous, and are labelled in such a way to let anyone who is transporting them know the contents of the carbonated drink. Before they become dangerous though, other factors would have had to happen that would be considered even more dangerous; The airline would have had to have a sudden change of pressure, such a change would cause a loss of consciousness for all those travelling on board the airline, and doing so would release CO2 from the cans.

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