All about dry ice – and its many uses

Dry Ice Fog Machine

Dry ice is frozen CO2, a regular part of our earth’s atmosphere that we breathe.

Carbon dioxide is the gas that plants need in photosynthesis to produce food. They use the carbon part and release the oxygen part back into the atmosphere for us. This gas is often captured during industrial processes and recycled to make dry ice. The same gas is commonly added to water to make soda water. Increases in carbon dioxide will produce greater food crop yields.

Dry ice is beneficial for freezing and keeping things frozen because of its frigid temperature: -109.3°F or -78.5°C. It is easy to handle using insulated gloves. Dry ice changes directly from a solid to a gas, called sublimation, in normal atmospheric conditions without going through a wet liquid stage. Therefore it gets the name “dry ice.”

Dry ice sublimates faster than regular ice melts but will extend the life of regular ice. Generally, dry ice will sublimate at five to ten pounds every 24 hours in a typical ice chest. This sublimation continues from the purchase time; therefore, pick up dry ice close to the needed time. Also, bring an ice chest or other insulated container to hold the dry ice.

Store dry ice in a well-insulated container. The thicker the insulation, the slower it will sublimate. Do not store dry ice in a completely airtight container. Keep good ventilation wherever dry ice is stored. The sublimated CO2 gas will sink to low areas and can be dangerous. It is best not to store dry ice in your freezer because its thermostat will shut off the freezer due to the dry ice’s extreme cold! But, if the freezer is broken, dry ice will save all your frozen goods.

For shipping, use 10 pounds of dry ice for a 24 to 48-hour period in a standard well-insulated cooler. For longer times and larger coolers, multiply by this amount.

When combined with hot tap water, dry ice can produce vigorous bubbling water and voluminous flowing fog.

Clean with cold? Dry ice blasting uses the frigid temperature of dry ice “exploding” against the contaminant causing it to shrink and lose its adhesion.


Always be safe handling dry ice.

There are many more applications and uses of dry ice.

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Interesting android app for kids showing experiments with dryice science experiments with ice apk

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