Using Dry Ice: 5 Unique and Practical Uses

Using dry ice can be a dangerous situation if you do not understand its characteristics. Dry ice is a frozen form of carbon dioxide. It can be used in many different situations but it is very important to take special care when handling and storing this material.

1 - Food Industry Applications

Dry ice is commonly used in many different food industry situations. It preserves items and carbonates beverages. You can add dry ice to a mixture of root beer extract and water. By combining these materials you will be able to create your own root beer. Dry ice is also effective in preventing bacteria growth. Use it preserve grains and seeds and to prevent them from growing any form of bacteria. You can freeze your fruits and other perishable items with dry ice. These foods will thaw into a firm material rather than a soggy one.

2 - Medical Applications

Dry ice is used a great deal in various medical situations. It preserves biological samples as they are shipped from one location to another. Dry ice is also effective in removing warts from the skin. Doctors carefully apply the ice to the area where the temperature of the material causes the wart to loosen and fall off of the skin.

3 - Entertainment Applications

Dry ice is often used in many entertainment engagements. Water is poured over the dry ice to create a fog effect. The water causes the ice to condense into a gas state. Fans are used to circulate the dry ice gases throughout space and to fill the room with fog.

4 - Insect Repellent Applications

Dry ice can be used to repel mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide and will fly towards dry ice. Placing dry ice near a mosquito trap will keep these pests away.

5 - Metal Dent Applications

Dents in various metal items can be removed with dry ice. Wrap the ice in a soft cloth to protect the surface of the metal. Position the dry ice onto the dented area. Slowly and carefully move the ice around in small circular motions. The temperature of the metal will become quite cold which will make the material contract. This reaction will force the dent out of the metal. The process may take about 20 minutes to complete.

Safety Precautions

Always put on protective eye wear and work gloves whenever you are handling dry ice. The temperature of this material is minus 109 degrees Fahrenheit. Never leave dry ice unattended. Keep it out of reach of children and pets. When transporting the dry ice, always place it in a well ventilated container. Open a window in the vehicle that you are using to transport the ice. Be sure to purchase your ice as close to the time that you will use it as possible. Never store dry ice in a freezer or any airtight container. A styrofoam cooler is the best storage unit. When disposing of dry ice, never flush it down a toilet, force it down a drain or throw it out into the garbage. The ice should be allowed to sublimate in a well ventilated area until there is none left.