What is Dry Ice? A Natural Refrigerant?
What Is Dry Ice?
Dry ice is literally carbon dioxide (CO2) in its solid state of matter. Converting this gas into its solid state of matter is done by freezing it. It is as cold as -109.3°F (-78.5°C). When dry ice breaks down, it turns into carbon dioxide, back into its gaseous state. This is due to its sublimate condition. Sublimation is the process of a solid melting and turning directly into a gas instead of a liquid. It is possible for dry ice to melt back into liquid CO2, but only under very high pressures.
What Is Dry Ice Used For?
Dry ice is mostly used for refrigeration purposes. It is often used when transporting non-frozen foods and drinks from one state or country to another. This is more practical than normal ice because it is colder, last longer, and melts into a gas instead of a liquid, leaving minimal cleanup. Dry Ice is also used often in the entertainment industry. Dropping dry ice in hot water produces rapidly-bubbling water along with a heavy fog effect. Mad scientists and witches in movies and theatrical shows are usually seen making concoctions that vigorously bubble and give off a lot of smoke. Those effects are made possible with dry ice combining with hot water. It can also be used with some fog machines and for other special applications.
Dry Ice Safety Concerns
When it comes to keeping things frozen, the immediate thing that comes to everyone’s mind would be a freezer. For dry ice, this isn’t a good idea. Regular everyday freezers aren’t powerful enough to keep it frozen, so dry ice will only melt. In fact, due to the sublime nature of dry ice, once it changes into its gaseous state inside your freezer, it will damage your freezer. Keeping dry ice frozen is done with the use of styrofoam coolers. In its gaseous state, CO2 cylinders would be the way to go.
Wear Cryogen gloves when handling dry ice. Failure to do so can end up damaging your skin. The feeling of touching dry ice with your bare hands is a lot like touching the handle of a hot pan. Dry ice is so cold that it literally burns you. Ventilation is another important concern. Too much CO2 in an enclosed can lead to respiratory issues. As mentioned before, dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide and when it melts, it turns back into its gaseous state. With CO2 being heavier than air, it will displace the natural air in the room and replace it with said gas. You want to make sure the area is well ventilated before using dry ice to avoid any accidents or breathing issues.
Where To Order Dry Ice
If you need any CO2 to turn into dry ice, you can order it from our gas order page. If you need other gases, like propane, nitrogen, or helium, you can order some from the page as well.