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Handy Uses for dry Ice

CAMPING AND TRAVELING WITH DRY ICE

Plan on using 2 to 4.5 kilograms of dry ice for every 24-hour period depending upon the size of the ice chest. Dry Ice will keep everything frozen in this ice chest, including extra ice, so keep non-frozen goods to be refrigerated with regular ice in a separate ice chest. Dry Ice, at -78.9C, will freeze and keep frozen everything in its container until it is completely sublimated. These frozen items will take some extra time to thaw because they have been so cold.

HOW TO PACK DRY ICE

If the Dry Ice is placed on top of the food (cold sinks), it will work better. However it is sometimes in the way so many people prefer to keep the Dry Ice on the bottom of the ice chest for convenience. When packing items in the container fill the empty space with wadded newspaper or other filler. Any "dead air space" will cause the Dry Ice to sublimate faster. The best storage container is a three-inch thick urethane insulated box. Lining the inside of your ice chest with sheets of Styrofoam will increase the life of Dry Ice. Dry Ice sublimation (changing from a solid to a gas) will vary depending on the temperature, air pressure and thickness of insulation. The more Dry Ice you have stored in the container, the longer it will last.

TRANSPORTING BY CAR OR VAN

Plan to pick up the Dry Ice as close to the time it is needed as possible. If possible pack insulating items such as sleeping bags around the ice chest. This will stretch the time that the Dry Ice lasts. If it is transported inside a car or van (not in the trunk) for more than 10 minutes make sure there is fresh air. After 15 minutes with Dry Ice only in its paper bag in the passenger seat next to me, I started to breathe faster and faster as though I were running a race. I couldn't figure out why I was so out of breath until I saw the car air system was set in the re-circulated position, not fresh outside air.

TRANSPORTING BY AIRPLANE


Pick up Dry Ice as close to departure time as convenient. Carry it in a well-insulated container such as an ice chest or insulated soft pack. If it is transported inside a car or van for more than 10 minutes make sure there is fresh air available. Most airlines will not let you carry more than two kilograms (4.4 pounds) of Dry Ice on the airplane without special arrangements. Because Dry Ice will sublimate continuously from the time of purchase, you can confidently declare that there is no more than two kilograms at the time you check in at the airport. Dry Ice will sublimate slightly faster due to the lower pressure that the airline maintains during flight. Make plans to refrigerate or add Dry Ice when arriving at your destination.

CARBONATE LIQUIDS

When CO2 is added to plain water it will make sparkling mineral water. CO2 is extensively used throughout the world in the beverage industry for making soda pop.

ADD DRY ICE TO BEVERAGES

It is OK to put Dry Ice into beverages for drinking as long as the dry ice is food grade. Use 2 to 4 pounds of Dry Ice for each gallon of room temperature punch. Use large pieces of Dry Ice not small pieces. The Dry Ice is heavier than ice and will sink to the bottom. Do not use any regular ice! The Dry Ice will do the cooling and must not be eaten or swallowed. Too much Dry Ice will freeze the beverage so have extra standing by. It will bubble and give off the most fog when the beverage is room temperature. When most of the Dry Ice has sublimated, it will surround itself with ice and float to the top. There is still a small piece of Dry Ice in the centre of these ice pieces so do not serve or eat them. Carefully ladle the beverage into drinking glasses without any Dry Ice. Add regular ice to glasses for cooler drinks.

**(Food grade means the CO2 used to make the dry ice is the same quality CO2 as used for soda fountains and also the dry ice can be used to transport food and produce.)

FOOD STORAGE

Placing Dry Ice in the bottom of a dry food storage container is a very economical way to fumigate and store dry goods for an extended amount of time.

POWER OUTAGE


If the electricity is out for a brief period of time keep the refrigerator and freezer closed and everything will be all right. The time everything will stay frozen or cool will depend on the type of freezer or refrigerator, the thermostat setting, and the temperature surrounding the appliance. Generally speaking on a hot summer day after the first hour, for every hour off, an equivalent day of storage will be lost for refrigerated items. Three to six hours could represent two to five days of storage. For the freezer, depending on how full it is, (the more full the better) things will stay frozen from three to six hours in a refrigerator freezer and up to twelve hours for a chest freezer.

TRANSPORT & SHIPPING REFRIGERATED OR FROZEN ITEMS

From frozen lasagne to chocolates From human tissue to prescription drugs - more and more goods are shipped refrigerated or frozen.
First, the most important item is a good insulated container. An inexpensive Styrofoam cooler from the grocery store will rarely work. It breaks easily and usually is not the right shape for shipping. A thick poly styrene box like Omaha Steaks uses or one from Thermo Safe, or the newest box from Control Temp Packaging will reduce the amount of dry ice needed and allow extended shipping times.

PROTECT SPORT FISH AND GAME

Pack your trophy animal or fish in Dry Ice to minimize spoilage while transporting or shipping it home.

BRANDING

Dry Ice is used to super cool alcohol for branding horses, cattle, and hunting dogs.

MEDICAL

Doctors, to freeze skin for wart removal, use Dry Ice or liquid nitrogen. Many medical offices ship biological specimens in Dry Ice for laboratory testing or further processing. Dry Ice is also used to keep bone morrow frozen when it is shipped.

TRANSPORTING PLANTS

Dry Ice will keep flowers cool and delay blooming. Maintaining ready to flower plants will retard blooming.

PLANT GROWTH

A small additional amount of Carbon Dioxide will increase the rate of plant growth.

CHEMICAL RETARDANT

It`s low temperature slows or stops some chemical reactions. It is used to store and ship special adhesives It is also a neutralizing agent for alkalis.

REMOVE FLOOR TILE

Dry Ice will loosen floor tile by freezing and slightly shrinking them allowing easier removal.

PRESSURIZING AGENT

When Dry Ice changes from a solid to a gas it absorbs heat and expands to over 800 times its original volume.

INERTING MEDIUM

Dry Ice will replace oxygen in a container preventing or putting out fires. It is used to safely remove underground gas storage tanks.

SHRINK FITTING

Dry Ice will shrink metal to slide on sleeves, bushings or bearings. Add Dry Ice to a 90% pure alcohol bath to create a cold liquid near -79.8C. that can be used like liquid nitrogen.

DEFLASHING MOLDED PLASTICS AND RUBBER

Dry Ice will cool and shrink whatever it touches. Rubber parts are tumbled in a barrel with Dry Ice, making them brittle for easy flash removal. It is used in cold grinding of Plexiglas, PVC resins and vinyl's.

FRESH MEAT PROCESSING

Dry Ice will keep the temperature cold and reduce spoilage while processing meat. This is used in industrial processing of ground meats and sausages.

DRY ICE BLAST CLEANING

Cleaning with cold? Yes, that's right! Cleaning with below freezing dry ice. This new development is quickly expanding around the world. One system uses small hard pellets of dry ice the size of rice shooting them out of a jet nozzle with compressed air. Yet the dry ice is softer than sand or glass beads, so it doesn't spoil the substrata. It works somewhat like sandblasting or high-pressure water or steam blasting, but with different results - often better. The frigid temperature of the dry ice -109.3F or -78.9C "exploding" against the material to be removed, causes it to shrink and loose adhesion from its sub surface. Additionally when some of of dry ice penetrates through the material to be removed, it comes in contact with the underlying surface. The warmer sub surface causes the dry ice to convert back into carbon dioxide gas. This gas has 800 times greater volume and spreads out underneath the material which speeds up its removal. Paint, oil, grease, asphalt, tar, decals, soot, dirt, ink, resins, jet exhaust tars, and adhesives, are some of the materials removed by this procedure. Only the removed material must be disposed of, as the dry ice sublimes into the atmosphere. Another system shaves dry ice off a block of dry ice and then sprays it in a wider pattern cleaning faster than sand blasting ever could.

Prior to repainting old corroded flaking surfaces, dry ice blast cleaning is the superior way to both clean and prepare the surface for its new coating. The surface is immediately available to paint - no waiting for drying or dangerous solvents to be removed.

Dry ice blast cleaning is often being used for restoration of fire damaged buildings and rooms - successfully removing the char and smoke damage to wood and other materials.

DENTS & HAIL DAMAGE

Dry Ice will condense metal and thereby shrink small dents on your car.

MOSQUITOES REPELLENT

CO2 may attract mosquitoes away from animals and people. Place pieces of Dry Ice away from areas where people are congregating.

OIL INDUSTRY

Dry Ice has been used in the oil fields for years to clean tank bottoms. When paraffin, sludge, etc build up, a chemical is added along with Dry Ice to roll (stir up) the tank bottom. This breaks out the liquids & separates water from oil in paraffin mixtures so that water can be removed & the oil saved." Liquid CO2 is also used to crack and increase oil flow in wells.

BAKING INDUSTRY

Dry Ice is used in mixing ingredients and retarding yeast growth until the proper time.

FREEZE FRESH STRAWBERRIES PERFECT

Dry Ice to freeze my strawberries - fresh, washed ones, once a year:

"SPECIAL EFFECTS"

DRY ICE FOG

Dry Ice when combined with hot tap water can produce vigorous bubbling water and voluminous flowing fog. For example, with 5 pounds of Dry Ice in 4 to 5 gallons of hot water, the greatest amount of fog will be produced the first 5 to 10 minutes. There will be far less fog for the next 5 to 10 minutes as the water cools down and the volume of Dry Ice diminishes. As the water cools, the fog becomes wispier. Dry Ice makes fog because of its cold temperature, -109.3F or -78.5C, immersed in hot water, creates a cloud of true water vapour fog. When the water gets colder than 50F, the Dry Ice stops making fog, but continues to sublimate and bubble. The fog will last longer on a damp day than on a dry day.

HOW TO MAKE FOG

For each 15-minute period put 5 to 10 pounds of Dry Ice into 4 to 8 gallons of hot water. This will make lots of fog depending upon the temperature of the water and the size of the pieces of Dry Ice. Hotter water will make more fog. Very hot water will add its own rising steam to the vapour cloud. If there is no steam the fog will flow downhill and in the direction of any air movement. A small fan can help control the direction. Smaller pieces of Dry Ice with more surface area produce a greater volume of fog and cool the water down much faster. In both cases the result is more fog for a shorter amount of time. Keep the water hot with a hot plate, electric skillet, or some other heat source to produce fog for a longer time. Otherwise when the water gets too cold it must be replaced to continue the fog effects. If the container is completely filled with water the fog will flow over the sides the best. But the Dry Ice sublimation will vigorously bubble the water and splash it out. Even a filled container will splash some so place the container where spilled water will not ruin anything. The water vapour fog will also dampen the area it flows across. Be careful because after some time floors do get slippery.

This informative site is supported by the manufacturers and sellers of Dry Ice. Thank you for supporting them.

Application

Amount

Duration

Witches Punch

3 to 5 lbs

Up to ½ an hour

Pumpkins

3 to 5 lbs

Up to ½ an hour

Witches Pot

5 to 15 lbs

Up to an ¾ hour

Small Room (Use 2 Pots)

15 to 30 lbs

Up to an hour

Large Room (Use 3-4 Pots)

50 lb package

Up to an hour

Swimming Pool (unheated)

50 lb package

1 to 2 hours

Patio (No Wind)

50 to 100 lbs

1 to 2 hours


HOW TO TRANSPORT AND STORE DRY ICE UNTIL READY TO USE

The best container to transport and store Dry Ice is an ice chest. It will still sublimate 5 to 10 pounds each 24 hours, so plan to pick up the Dry Ice as close as possible to the time it will be used. Dry Ice is very cold so use insulated gloves to handle it. Do not store Dry Ice in your refrigerator freezer. The extremely cold temperature will cause your thermostat to turn off your freezer. (But it will keep things frozen if your refrigerator breaks down in an emergency.) Do not store Dry Ice in a completely airtight container. The sublimation of Dry Ice to Carbon Dioxide gas will cause any airtight container to expand until a hole opens or it explodes.

POOL & JACUZZI

50 to 100 pounds of Dry Ice dropped directly into a heated swimming pool will make fog for an hour or longer depending on the water temperature and the size of the Dry Ice pieces. Because of the Jacuzzi's hot water, it makes the most fog the quickest. As long as the water is kept hot, it can take 50 to 100 pounds per hour. The Dry Ice will carbonate the water for several days. If possible drain the Jacuzzi. The swimming pool will read more alkaline during this time so wait to add acid until the carbonation has dissipated. If the temperature of the water in a swimming pool, fountain, waterfall, or birdbath is too cold (less than 60F) the Dry Ice will bubble but produce much less fog.

ADD DRY ICE TO BEVERAGES

It is OK to put Dry Ice into beverages for drinking as long as the dry ice is food grade. Use 2 to 4 pounds of Dry Ice for each gallon of room temperature punch. Use large pieces of Dry Ice not small pieces. The Dry Ice is heavier than ice and will sink to the bottom. Do not use any regular ice! The Dry Ice will do the cooling and must not be eaten or swallowed. Too much Dry Ice will freeze the beverage so have extra standing by. It will bubble and give off the most fog when the beverage is room temperature. When most of the Dry Ice has sublimated, it will surround itself with ice and float to the top. There is still a small piece of Dry Ice in the centre of these ice pieces so do not serve or eat them. Carefully ladle the beverage into drinking glasses without any Dry Ice. Add regular ice to glasses for cooler drinks.

**(Food grade means the CO2 used to make the dry ice is the same quality CO2 as used for soda fountains and also the dry ice can be used to transport food and produce.)

WITCHES BREW

A first grade teacher gave me the best recipe for "witches brew": 1 can Grape Juice. (Dark color) 1 can Pineapple Juice. (Strange pulpy texture) 3-5 pounds of food grade Dry Ice. (Do not use regular ice) Mix room temperature juices together. When ready for special brew add the Dry Ice. Do not touch Dry Ice directly, but use insulated gloves or tongs. Ladle juice into cups without any Dry Ice and it will be perfectly safe. If you want cooler drinks add ice to the cups not the punch bowl.

STAGE PRODUCTIONS

Using a fog machine or buckets of hot water and a fan, many shows are enhanced by adding flowing fog. I have seen it most often in the dance of the snowflake fairies in the Nutcracker Suite, and it is frequently used in Brigadoon and Oklahoma for their dream scenes.

FOG MACHINES

A theatre fog machine is generally a 30 to 55-gallon metal or plastic water barrel with a 110-volt or a 220-volt hot water heater to keep the water hot. Dry Ice is placed in a bucket with holes to allow hot water to enter. When the bucket is lowered into the hot water fog is instantly produced. The resulting water vapour fog is gently blown by a fan and directed to the desired area by an air duct tube. Fog stops whenever the bucket of Dry Ice is pulled out of the water. More modern fog machines pump heated water over a trey holding the Dry Ice.

GARBAGE DISPOSAL VOLCANO


A fantastic simulated volcano can be made in a sink with a garbage disposal. Run hot water and put small one to two pound pieces of Dry Ice into your garbage disposal one at a time. When you turn the disposal on it will make a marvellous eruption. Be sure to wear goggles as the hot water and ejected Dry Ice could be dangerous. Also check out Volcano in our "Science/ School Projects" section.

DANGER: If you put too much Dry Ice into the sink at one time it could burst the pipes. That happens when the heavy Dry Ice sinks to the bottom of the pipes or goes past the u shape trap and when it sublimates back into its gas form the pressure could easily break the pipes. Only feed small amounts of Dry Ice at a time being sure to run enough hot water to quickly turn it all into its gas form.