What is Dry Ice?

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Dry Ice

Dry ice refers to carbon dioxide that is in solid form. Dry ice often sublimates into gas and is very cold when it is in solid form. When it sublimates, it becomes useful in a many different ways. Though it is definitely cheaper to buy dry ice from a shop or store, it is also possible to make some using pressurized carbon dioxide in fire extinguisher, cartridge or tank. One can find carbon dioxide in some stores such as those that sell sporting goods or cookware. The name ‘dry ice’ was originally a trademark for Prest Air Devices and was used on the carbon dioxide that the company produced in solid form. However, today the term refers to any carbon dioxide generated in solid form. Solidified carbon dioxide is known as dry ice because it does not melt to produce wet liquid. Instead, it sublimates. What this means is that it changes from solid to gas form. The thinking is that because it does not become wet, then it remains dry.

Making Dry Ice

Dry ice is produced when the gas form of carbon dioxide is compressed until it changes into liquid form. The gas is compressed at room temperature using 870 pounds for each squire inch of pressure. Once the pressure is relieves, some of the liquidated carbon dioxide changes into gas and some of it cools to form dry snow or ice frost. This may be collated and pressed for form blocks or pellets. Dry ice does not last long when placed at room temperature because carbon dioxide’s freezing point is -78.5° C. Once made, dry ice is used in different ways including creating special fog and smoke effects as well as freezing or refrigerating items that require cold storage. A major advantage of dry ice is that it doesn’t melt and is ideal for cold-packing goods because it does not mess even when it warms. Dry ice is also used in blast cleaning equipment in industries and also induces precipitation by seeding clouds.

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