Dry Ice- Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know about purchasing, handling, and storing dry ice—and more!


Dry ice is solid carbon dioxide. Under rapid lowering of the temperature, carbon dioxide forms snow and eventually turns into pellets or large blocks of dry ice. Its temperature is -78 C or -109 F.
Carbon dioxide is an odourless, colourless gas. It is cooled under high temperatures liquifying it. Later as the temperature further lowers and reaches the triple point, the liquid turns into snow. This snow is then compressed into blocks. These blocks are further broken into pellets and used for various purposes.
Dry ice is primarily a cooling agent. It is helpful in the storage and transport of perishable goods due to its extremely low temperatures. Similarly, industries benefit through dry ice blasting since it cleans effectively without producing any waste. Presently, there is a lot of talk regarding cloud seeding, and dry ice is a key element in the procedure. Apart from commercial uses, dry ice is also helpful in conducting various experiments at schools. It is also a fun element useful for creating fog during events.
Chemical blasting or the traditional cleaning processes are cumbersome. These require immense effort and also leave a huge heap of waste to clean after the procedure. On the other side, dry ice is an environment-friendly material that leaves no wastage as it sublimes into its gaseous state. Also, industries do not need to halt functioning, waiting for the machinery to dry as there is no liquid involved.
Dry ice temperature is -109 F or -78 C. It's cold, and this low temperature acts as the perfect coolant to store and transport goods. The food and pharmaceutical industry are the primary beneficiaries of using dry ice as a coolant. Presently storage and shipment of Covid-19 vaccines are carried with the help of dry ice.
This doubt comes from the idea that if one place is artificially altered, the other shall face the brunt. However, nothing as such happens during cloud seeding. The technology only targets places with low precipitation without changing the climate of another space.
As stated, dry ice has a freezing temperature. Like burns due to hot products, it can also leave frost bites if handled without proper equipment. Hence, it is better to leave the dry ice with professionals or handle it only after wearing the protective gear.
Dry ice can be dangerous if touched with bare hands. So, always take the following few precautions before handling it.
  • Always use protective gear that completely covers your hand and face
  • Use dry ice in a well-ventilated area, so the gas has space to exit
  • Do not inhale carbon dioxide
  • Do not try to taste it, since it is fatal
  • Keep the dry ice away from kids and pets
  • Refrain from storing dry ice in an airtight container.
Dry ice must be stored in a well-insulated container. However, ensure that it is not airtight. Most dry ice sellers can provide an adequate container that is highly insulated and reduces sublimation to 2%. Hence, ensuring that sublimation happens at the slowest pace.
After usage, remove the dry ice from the container and leave it in a well-ventilated area. It will slowly sublimate and blend with the atmosphere. However, ensure to steer clear all people and animals from the place.


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On 03/03/2023