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The Many Uses of Dry Ice

7/9/2015 1:10:42 PM | by Rani Ho

Dry Ice

What is Dry Ice?
Dry ice, also known as cardice, is the carbon dioxide’s solid form which is primarily utilized as a cooling agent. It sublimes at -78.5˚C which is extremely cold and makes it dangerous to handle with bare hands due to frostbite. Dry ice is non-flammable, slightly acidic, and colorless with a zesty odor. Its composition results in low electrical and thermal conductivity. The solid form of two oxygen atoms and a single carbon atom make dry ice.

Uses
Industrial – Dried ice is utilized in loosening asphalt floor tiles and freezing water in pipes without valves to allow repair. Dry ice cleaning is one of the most popular mechanical uses of dry ice; dry ice pellets are to be blasted from a nozzle combines with compressed air, uniting the power of sublimation and the speed of pellets which is capable of eliminating residues from various mechanical equipment such as ink, rubber, glue, mold, oil and paint. Dry ice blasting can take over steam blasting, solvent blasting, sand blasting or water blasting. In recent times, blast cleaning has been recognized in getting rid of smoke damage in structures after fire incidents.

Dry ice help in degassing flammable vapors in storage tanks – dry ice pellets sublimation in a vented and emptied tank results into an outrush of CO2 which carries the flammable vapours.

Automobile – A variety of machines are utilized during production that need grease and oil. Without a doubt, these substances will leave stubborn stains on surfaces. On the other hand, with the help of dry ice blasting these harsh substances can be eliminated much easier without any residue. Huge fans are used to cool workers down while working; cleaning these fans is not that difficult with the help of dry ice blasting to accomplish the cleaning safely and fast. Dry ice is an ideal solution as no flammable chemicals are present that may be corrosive to motors, switches or electrical wiring.

Commercial – The most general application for dry ice is food preservation, utilizing non-cyclic refrigeration. It is used in packaging items that need to remain frozen or cold such as biological samples, carbonate beverages or ice cream without relying on mechanical cooling. Dry ice arrests and prevents insect activity in various closed containers like grain products since it displaces oxygen, but does not affect the quality and taste of food.

The process of sublimation is increases in speed when dry ice is put in water; dense, low-sinking clouds of fog are created. This is used in numerous fog machines at haunted house attractions, nightclubs and theaters for dramatic impact. It is sometimes used for freezing and removing warts. This is way superior to other fog machines that use other methods, since artificial fog tends to rise like smoke. Dry ice can also be used as bait for trapping bedbugs, mosquitoes and other insects as they are attracted to carbon dioxide.

Scientific – A slurry of dryice combined with organic solvent is a perfect freezing mixture for condensing solvents and for cold chemical reactions. With the utilization of dry ice, altering cloud precipitation is possible. It has a huge advantage of being completely non-toxic and low cost. Frozen CO2 can be useful in keeping cell tissues and other materials that are heat sensitive at a cool temperature.

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