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Dry ice



  Apr 13, 2024

Dry ice



What is dry ice?

● Not actually ice: Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide (CO2), the same gas we exhale and that plants use for photosynthesis.

● Extremely cold: Dry ice has a surface temperature of -78.5蚓 (-109.3蚌). This extreme cold is what makes it useful and what makes it dangerous.

● Sublimation: Unlike regular ice, dry ice doesn't melt. Instead, it transitions directly from a solid to a gas through a process called sublimation.

Why is dry ice used?


● Cooling Agent: Dry ice is an effective coolant much colder than regular ice. It's used to preserve frozen foods during transport and to create special effects like fog in entertainment settings.

● Carbonation: In small, controlled amounts, it can be used to add fizz to drinks.

The Dangers of Dry Ice


● Frostbite: Direct contact with bare skin can cause severe frostbite and burns within seconds. The extreme cold instantly damages skin cells.

● Internal Damage: If swallowed, dry ice can cause severe internal injuries. The frozen material can freeze tissue in the mouth, esophagus, and stomach.

● Gas Expansion: As dry ice sublimates, it rapidly produces large volumes of carbon dioxide gas. In an enclosed space, this gas buildup can create pressure and lead to an explosion hazard.

● Suffocation Risk: In poorly ventilated areas, the buildup of CO2 gas can displace oxygen, making it difficult to breathe and potentially leading to suffocation.

Safe Handling of Dry Ice


● Protective gear: Always wear insulated gloves and use tongs when handling dry ice. Safety goggles are also recommended.

● Ventilation: Only use and store dry ice in well-ventilated areas to prevent the buildup of CO2 gas.

● Never in confined spaces: Do not store dry ice in airtight containers, as the pressure from gas buildup could cause an explosion.

● Keep away from children and pets: Ensure dry ice is out of reach and that individuals understand the dangers it poses.


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