Dry ice is a versatile product that has a number of commercial and consumer uses. Below are as a few examples.
Dry Ice Uses
· Power outages
· Broken refrigerator or freezer
· Meat processing
· Metal shrinking
· Deflashing molded plastics and rubber
· Lengthen the life of wet ice
If the electricity is out for a brief period of time keep the refrigerator and freezer closed and everything will be all right. The time everything will stay frozen or cool will depend on the type of freezer or refrigerator, the thermostat setting, and the temperature surrounding the appliance. Generally speaking on a hot summer day after the first hour, for every hour off, an equivalent day of storage will be lost for refrigerated items. Three to six hours could represent two to five days of storage. For the freezer, depending on how full it is, (the more full the better) things will stay frozen from three to six hours in a refrigerator freezer and up to twelve hours for a chest freezer. ONLY TAKE ACTION IF THE POWER IS EXPECTED TO BE OFF FOR A LONGER PERIOD OF TIME!
Refrigerator Not Working
For each 12 to 24 hour period, place a ten pound slab of dry ice on bottom shelf of the refrigerator to cool. Do not touch dry ice with bare hands. Do not place it directly on the glass shelf, but use newspaper or other insulated protection between the dry ice and the shelf. When the dry ice is sublimated replace it with a new slab. Keep extra dry ice in an ice chest. Because dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide, it will carbonate open containers. Carbonated water is ok, but carbonated milk sure tastes different! Also anything too close to the dry ice may freeze. Watch out for items below the bottom shelf as they may freeze too. Regular block ice is better for the refrigerator - the old fashion "ice box" - but then the melted ice water must be removed.
· Walk-in Refrigerator: uses 50 to 100 pounds per day. If the fans are running, place all the dry ice as high and close to the back of the evaporator unit where the air is sucked through. Otherwise, place slabs on top shelves without touching any food. Too much dry ice will lower the temperature too much and freeze food near the floor. Monitor the temperature closely after several hours. Add or subtract dry ice as needed. Keep extra dry ice in an ice chest. Leave door open when entering walk-in. Carbon dioxide gas will accumulate in lowest areas and could cause suffocation. Use the buddy system with one person outside the walk-in at all times to help remove items from the walk-in. Leave walk-in if you start to pant and breath quickly or your fingernails or lips start to turn blue. This is the sign that you have breathed in too much carbon dioxide and not enough oxygen.
Freezer Not Working
Do not touch dry ice directly. Use insulated gloves, potholder, towel, etc. Use the following guidelines for each type of freezer. For each 24-hour period:
· Freezer on bottom: use 15 to 25 pounds.
· Freezer on top: use 20 to 30 pounds.
· Side by side Freezer: use 30 to 40 pounds. Place each slab, starting with the top shelf, on top of the food to be kept frozen. Bottom shelves will be kept frozen by the dry ice above it.
· Chest Freezer: use 40 to 50 pounds. When taking out the frozen food, carefully lift the dry ice slab up with gloves, potholder, towel, etc., without touching the dry ice directly.
· Walk-in Freezer: uses 150 to 250 pounds per day. If the fans are running, place half the dry ice as high and close to the back of the evaporator unit where the air is sucked through. Place remainder slabs on top shelves directly on frozen food. Leave door open when entering the freezer. Carbon dioxide gas will accumulate in lowest areas and could cause suffocation. Use the buddy system with one person outside the walk-in at all times to help remove items from the walk-in. Leave walk-in if you start to pant and breath quickly or your fingernails or lips start to turn blue. This is the sign that you have breathed in too much carbon dioxide and not enough oxygen.
Fresh Meat Processing
Dry ice will keep the temperature cold and reduce spoilage while processing meat. This is used in industrial processing of ground meats and sausages.
Dry ice will shrink metal to slide on sleeves, bushings, or bearings. Add dry ice to a 90% pure alcohol bath to create a cold liquid near -109.3°F that can be used like liquid nitrogen.
Deflashing Molded Plastics and Rubber
Dry ice will cool and shrink whatever it touches. Rubber parts are tumbled in a barrel with dry ice, making them brittle for easy flash removal. It is used in cold grinding of Plexiglas, PVC resins, and vinyl.
Dry Ice Fog
For each 15-minute period, put 5 to 10 pounds of dry ice into 4 to 8 gallons of hot water. This will make lots of fog depending upon the temperature of the water and the size of the pieces of dry ice. Hotter water will make more fog. Very hot water will add its own rising steam to the vapor cloud. If there is no steam the fog will flow down hill and in the direction of any air movement. A small fan can help control the direction. Smaller pieces of dry ice with more surface area produce a greater volume of fog and cool the water down much faster. In both cases the result is more fog for a shorter amount of time. Keep the water hot with a hot plate, electric skillet, or some other heat source to produce fog for a longer time. Otherwise when the water gets too cold it must be replaced to continue the fog effects. If the container is completely filled with water the fog will flow over the sides the best. But the dry ice sublimation will vigorously bubble the water and splash it out. Even a ¾ filled container will splash some so place the container where spilled water will not ruin anything. The water vapor fog will also dampen the area it flows across. Be careful because after some time floors do get slippery.
Protect Fish and Game
Pack your trophy animal or fish in dry ice to minimize spoilage while transporting or shipping it home. Do not let the dry ice touch the game directly as it may cause superficial damage. Dry ice can be added to regular ice to extend its cooling. For best results use an insulated container.
Camping and Traveling with Dry Ice
Plan on using 10 to 20 pounds of dry ice for every 24-hour period depending upon the size of the ice chest. Dry ice will keep everything frozen in this ice chest, including extra ice, so keep non-frozen goods to be refrigerated with regular ice in a separate ice chest. Dry ice normally comes in 10-inch squares, 2 inches thick weighing about 10 pounds each square. Plan to put one square per each 15 inches of ice chest length. This will work out to 2 squares (20 pounds) for an average 40-quart cooler. For larger containers and longer camping or traveling times, multiply dry ice quantities by these rates. Dry ice, at -109.0°F or -78.5°C, will freeze and keep frozen everything in its container until it is completely sublimated. These frozen items will take some extra time to thaw because they have been so cold.
Dry ice will keep flowers cool and delay blooming. Maintaining ready to flower plants at 34°F will retard blooming. Do not allow dry ice to get too close and freeze plants.
Pool and Jacuzzi
50 to 100 pounds of dry ice dropped directly into a heated swimming pool will make fog for an hour or longer depending on the water temperature and the size of the dry ice pieces. Because of the Jacuzzi's hot water, it makes the most fog the quickest. As long as the water is kept hot, it can take 50 to 100 pounds per hour. The dry ice will carbonate the water for several days. If possible drain the Jacuzzi. The swimming pool will read more alkaline during this time so wait to add acid until the carbonation has dissipated. If the temperature of the water in a swimming pool, fountain, waterfall, or birdbath is too cold (less than 60°F) the dry ice will bubble but produce much less fog.
For more information, please visit www.dryiceinfo.com.
· Make fog
· Camping or traveling with food
· Transporting plants
· Cool a pool or Jacuzzi
· Animal branding