Dry ice is a wonderful way to help with chores around the house, help in commercial practices, and give children a fun science lesson. Dry ice needs special handling, however. Besides handling the dry ice block with heavy gloves at all times, ventilation and insulation requirements are a must. When and how should dry ice have ventilation or insulation? Read more to get informed.
The Nature of Dry Ice
Dry ice is solid/frozen carbon dioxide, which dissolves by sublimating, the act of a substance transforming from a solid directly into a gas without a liquid stage in between. This process is crucial to understanding how to handle this highly useful and enjoyable substance.
In every case, dry ice must be kept in a ventilated space. This includes handling, storage, and transportation situations. When handling dry ice, make sure the doors and windows are open. When storing dry ice, make sure that the container lets air come through, if even a little. Do not store dry ice in your freezer, as the freezer will break due to the bone-chilling temperature of the dry ice. Only use dry ice in the freezer as a power-outage substitute. When transporting dry ice, keep the windows of the car or truck at least cracked to keep fresh air coming your way.
Not handling, storing, or transporting dry ice in a ventilated space will cause suffocation and death. Carbon dioxide must NOT be inhaled in large quantities. Conclusion: provide a VENTILATED space for dry ice AT ALL TIMES!
Though ventilation is a must which cannot be overemphasized, insulation is recommended to make the shelf-life of dry ice longer. How can you keep something insulated and ventilated at the same time?
The answer is that insulation is not the same as air-tight. Dry ice will always have some amount of sublimation, so dry ice must be ventilated at all times to let out the gas. However, keeping dry ice in a thickly insulated cooler will keep it from sublimating as quickly. Dry ice sublimates faster when exposed to air. It sublimates immediately in water.
If using dry ice to keep food and drinks cool in a cooler, make a note on whether the cooler is airtight or not. Cheaper coolers won’t likely be a problem, but higher-end types such as YETI or Igloo may need occasional gas-letting by slightly unscrewing the drainage cap to keep the dry ice happy.
In conclusion, keep dry ice for longer using good insulation, and always ventilate to keep carbon dioxide flowing, but NEVER keep it airtight!
Dry Ice For All Your Needs
Dry Ice Corp is the largest regional supplier of dry ice and related products in the Northeastern United States. Our dry ice is fresh and delivered right to your doorstep. We are happy to help you determine the best way to ship your goods, whether you have a huge amount of cookies or a single pie, and help you select the perfect amount of dry ice for the job. Give us a call at (201) 767-3200 or contact us online for a quote. To connect with us online, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.