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How Does CO2 Shoot a Paintball?


How Does CO2 Shoot a Paintball?
Image courtesy of PriceGrabber
Question: How Does CO2 Shoot a Paintball?
Answer: Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is in a compressed, liquid state inside a CO2 tank. When it is released from the tank, it expands into gaseous CO2, which propels the paintball out of the chamber. It works in much the same way as a steam engine: fire heats water to boiling and the resulting steam expands and propels a turbine. The only difference is that while water boils at 100 degrees Celsius (212 Fahrenheit), CO2 boils at -78C (-108F). While it is left in the pressurized tank it stays in a liquid state, but the second it is released, it instantly converts to the gaseous form, similar to how water instantly vaporizes when you drop it on a red hot piece of metal. Gaseous CO2 takes up much more space than the liquid form, and while it expands it pushes a paintball out the front of the gun.
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