Dry ice is the pure and solid form of Carbon dioxide or CO2. When Carbon dioxide is pressurized and refrigerated, the liquid carbon dioxide forms. While this liquidation is happening the inner temperature of the carbon dioxide drops, this helps part of the gas to freeze. By this procedure, the solid form of carbon dioxide is created.
The appearance of the solid carbon dioxide is like snow that is why it is called ice though it never melts like ice. The solid form of Carbon dioxide has a unique ability. When it is heated it turns directly to gas instead of melting that is why it is called as dry ice. The procedure of turning solid Carbon dioxide to gas is called sublimation. This solid carbon dioxide then can be pressed hydraulically to make blocks and pellets of dry ice.
Procedure to make dry ice in home
Dry ice can be made in home as well. To make dry ice in home one needs to purchase a CO2 tank; the normal CO2 tank which is used for aquariums and paintball guns can be used for this purpose. Some other materials such as safety goggles, gloves, an ice bag and jar would also be needed for this procedure. One should wear the safety goggles and gloves before starting the procedure.
At first, one should put the ice bag to cover the nozzle of the tank. The bag should be kept in such a position that it could hold the nozzle tightly. After that one should turn on the tank’s valve to discharge the carbon dioxide. The valve should be turned on for about 20 seconds, after that the valve should be turned off and the ice bag should be removed from the valve. The dry ice is already formed, and it could be kept in the jar but the jar should be kept open else the carbon dioxide can smash the jar by its pressure if covered by a lid.
The safety measures
The dry ice is not actually a form of water it is the form of carbon dioxide so while handling the dry ice some safety measure must be taken. Dry ice can cause severe burns if touched by bare hands (since it is extremely cold) so it is suggested that one should wear gloves as protection.
Tasting or swallowing dry ice can cause severe injuries to the internal body parts so no one should ever try that. If somebody works with dry ice he/she should check the ventilation arrangement properly. Since carbon dioxide is injurious to health, the increased levels in the work area can mean disaster for people working in that area.
Uses of Dry Ice
Normally dry ice has a temperature, around -109° F or -78.5° C. This is extremely chilly temperature which helps to preserve material for longer than wet ice so it is used for preserving things such as ice creams, fresh fish, food and sometimes even blood. Even airlines use this ice to keep food fresh for long time. Another advantage of dry ice is that it never melts so the cleaning procedure is much more hassle free. Dry ice is also used to create fog in theaters.