How Dry Ice Is Made and Its Various Uses

When it comes to water, you can expect such terms as evaporation, freezing, and condensation. At a low temperature, specifically 32 degrees Fahrenheit, your water will freeze, and at 212 degrees Fahrenheit it will boil and evaporate. In between these two temperatures, your water will be a liquid. As a result, when your ice melts you end up with water in the bottom of your cup or cooler. Dry ice, on the other hand, will not leave a liquid residue, but skips the liquid stage altogether to transform from a solid to a gas. This is known as sublimation. To learn more about dry ice, visit or similar websites.

Carbon Dioxide

The reason that dry ice uses sublimation rather than the familiar evaporation process is because it is composed of carbon dioxide rather than water. You may recognize carbon dioxide as the gas that you exhale as you breathe, or as the gas that plants use during photosynthesis. In the 1800s, the solidification of this gas was discovered in France, although the term “dry ice” was not used until it was coined by a company called Prest Air Devices in 1925.
Creating Dry Ice

Carbon dioxide will not solidify until very low temperatures, and dry ice actually holds the extremely low temperature of -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit. But how are these temperatures achieved to create dry ice? To create dry ice, gases containing carbon dioxide must be compressed at a very high pressure, causing it to liquefy. As the pressure is slowly released, some of the liquid evaporates back into gas form, causing the air around it to cool. The air will become cool enough to cause some of the liquid to frost into a form that resembles snow. This snow-like carbon dioxide can then be pressed into blocks or pellets of dry ice. The dry ice is then used for a number of different purposes.
Uses for Dry Ice

Because of its cool nature, the most common use of dry ice is of course for keeping food and other perishable items cold without leaving a puddle of water behind. But dry ice is also used for creating fog and smoke special effects when placed or doused in water, to seed clouds to cause precipitation, and even to clean industrial equipment and metals–similar to sand blasting and popping out dents in vehicles. While those are only a few of the uses of dry ice, it is important to handle the extremely cold ice safely during any sort of use, such as by wearing gloves to prevent damage to your skin. To learn more about proper handling of dry ice, visit or similar websites.

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