What is dry ice? How is it made? Unlike regular ice, dry ice doesn’t convert into a liquid as it warms up. Instead, it becomes a gaseous substance known as sublimation. Depending on whether dry ice is made in a block press or a pelletizer, it can then be made into large blocks or pellets. Although dry ice is safe to utilize in areas with ventilation, it can be dangerous in small enclosed spaces. Let’s learn how to safely handle dry ice.
CO2 Buildup is Dangerous
So, how is dry ice dangerous? Even though it is safe to use in areas with air circulation, dry ice can trigger carbon dioxide (CO2) buildup in small enclosed spaces. In addition, CO2 displaces oxygen molecules, causing asphyxiation over time. Some early signs of oxygen deprivation include headache, disorientation, confusion, and difficulty breathing. Since dry ice releases CO2 gas, you also should not keep the material in an airtight container. Otherwise, the gas buildup can pressurize the container and cause it to explode.
Tips to Using Dry Ice in a Safe Manner
Moreover, because of the significant temperature difference, ceramic, glass, plastic, stoneware, and other surfaces can crack if you expose them to dry ice. So, using Styrofoam coolers to transport and store dry ice is prevalent because it’s insulative, won’t crack, and allows the carbon dioxide to disperse safely. Also, safely handle dry ice by wearing protective gear to avoid frostbite on your hands. Always wear gloves to safely handle dry ice and use tongs to transfer pieces rather than using your hands.
Dry Ice vs. Liquid Nitrogen
Liquid nitrogen is much colder than dry ice, making it more hazardous. Since it’s a liquid and not solid, liquid nitrogen is also more challenging to work with in numerous settings and difficult to contain. Additionally, liquid nitrogen is prevalently used as a refrigerant due to its food freezing, low temperature, and storage of biologics in specialized freezers.
In contrast, although dry ice is not as cold as liquid nitrogen, it’s great for shipping frozen foods because it can remain cold for up to a week in shipping cartons. The food processing industry also uses it to prevent spoilage during significant scale blending or grinding processes like hamburger production.
Order Your Dry Ice Online Today!
Dry Ice Corp is the largest regional supplier of dry ice and related products in the Northeastern United States. Our 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 number 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.