The system consists of a plastic pouch and a paper gas generating sachet. The paper sachet contains ascorbic acid and activated carbon which react on contact with air. Oxygen is rapidly absorbed and carbon dioxide is produced. When the paper sachet is placed in a sealed plastic pouch, this reaction will create ideal atmospheric conditions for the growth of anaerobes. It proceeds with no evolution of hydrogen, and therefore does not require a catalyst. No addition of water is necessary to activate the reaction. This gives the system many advantages over the commonly used borohydride systems with increased safety and convenience. When used as directed, the AnaeroGen Compact sachet will reduce the oxygen content in the pouch to below 1% within 30 minutes. The resulting carbon dioxide content will be between 8% and 14%. The level of carbon dioxide will depend on how many plates are placed in the pouch. AnaeroGen Compact has been designed for use with 1-4 plates.