DRY ICE 101
Making Dry Ice
Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide gas, or CO2 for short.
CO2 gas is pressurized and cooled to form liquid CO2 (LCO2). The liquid CO2 is then injected into a dry ice production unit.
Inside the dry ice maker, pressurized LCO2 is released to atmospheric pressure, causing it to solidify into CO2 "snow." This "snow" is then pressed into blocks, or formed into nuggets and rice (or pellets) by extruding it through special dies.
Dry ice is stored in portable, insulated, plastic-lined totes until sale/delivery.
Buy from your local supplier for the freshest, longest-lasting dry ice possible.
How Dry Ice Blasting Works
Dry Ice blasting is non-conductive, non-toxic and non-abrasive, creates no secondary waste and doesn't use water (so can be used in winter) -- making it superior to many other methods of super-powered cleaning. Here's how it works.
- The force of dry ice pellets hitting the surface transfers kinetic energy which cracks and breaks down the material that is being removed.
- The extremely cold dry ice (-109 degrees F) strikes the warmer unwanted material, shocking and shrinking it, causing it to release from the surface. This allows deeper penetration of the dry ice.
- As the dry ice converts back to a gas, it significantly expands (as much as 800%), forcing the unwanted material to release from behind.
How Quickly Does Dry Ice Sublimate?
Dry ice sublimates or changes directly from solid to gas, without a liquid phase. The rate of sublimation must be taken into account when choosing your dry ice.
Depending on weather, type of dry ice, and the storage container, dry ice sublimates about 2% to 10% per day. One pound of dry ice will sublimate into 8.3 cu. ft. of carbon dioxide gas.
Slabs of dry ice last longer than pelletized dry ice, which sublimates faster. For longer shelf life, keep dry ice in a high-quality insulated container.
The image shown here is for illustrative purposes only.
How to Pack a Cooler Using Dry Ice?
Using dry ice in a cooler is a great way keep food and beverages cold and/or frozen. Because dry ice is so cold (-109.3°F or -78.5°C), anything that touches it directly will freeze.
Picking the right cooler and packing it correctly are critical to getting the results you want.
Be sure to read the Safety Tips and follow instructions.
How to Handle it Safely
Dry ice is a highly effective, safe cooling and cleaning tool when used and disposed of properly. Because it's so cold (-109.3°F or -78.5°C) and sublimates versus melting (which means that instead of melting it goes from a solid directly to a gaseous state), there are precautions to take when using it.
HANDLING, STORING & USING
- WEAR GLOVES to protect your hands when handling dry ice. It can burn bare skin.
- DO NOT put dry ice in any space that is not well ventilated OR store it in an air-tight container.
- NEVER leave dry ice unattended. It should always be kept out of the reach of children and animals.
- DO NOT ingest or use in drinks or beverages.
- When finished using dry ice, unwrap it (if necessary) and leave it at room temperature in a well-ventilated area out of reach of animals or children.
- NEVER put it in the garbage or down a sink drain or toilet as the extremely cold temperature can damage plumbing.
- To dispose of dry ice in your cooler, simply set it outside with the lid off or open.
- If you can't leave the dry ice outside, set it on a solid surface that can withstand cold temperatures.
- Be sure to open windows in the room, and keep the room ventilated as the dry ice evaporates!
- It will take several hours or days for the dry ice to fully sublimate, depending on conditions.
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY: For accidental ingestion, seek medical attention immediately and call 911. Panting, headaches and blue lips and fingernails are signs of overexposure to carbon dioxide. If necessary, call 911. Seek medical attention as needed for treatment of dry ice burns.