dry ice

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carbon dioxide

carbon dioxide, chemical compound, CO2, a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is about one and one-half times as dense as air under ordinary conditions of temperature and pressure. It does not burn, and under normal conditions it is stable, inert and nontoxic. It will however support combustion of magnesium to give magnesium oxide and carbon. Although it is not a poison, it can cause death by suffocation if inhaled in large amounts. It is a fairly stable compound but decomposes at very high temperatures into carbon and oxygen. It is fairly soluble in water, one volume of it dissolving in an equal volume of water at room temperature and pressure; the resultant weakly acidic aqueous solution is called carbonic acid. The gas is easily liquefied by compression and cooling. If liquid carbon dioxide is quickly decompressed it rapidly expands and some of it evaporates, removing enough heat so that the rest of it cools into solid carbon dioxide “snow.” A standard test for the presence of carbon dioxide is its reaction with limewater (a saturated water solution of calcium hydroxide) to form a milky-white precipitate of calcium hydroxide.

Carbon dioxide occurs in nature both free and in combination (e.g., in carbonates). It is part of the atmosphere, making up about 1% of the volume of dry air. Because it is a product of combustion of carbonaceous fuels (e.g., coal, coke, fuel oil, gasoline, and cooking gas), there is usually more of it in city air than in country air. For the last 800,000 years the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has oscillated over tens of thousands of years between 180 to 280 parts per million (ppm), but since the Industrial Revolution it has steadily increased above 280 ppm in a relatively brief time, reaching 400 ppm in 2013. This extra carbon dioxide fuels the greenhouse effect, warming the atmosphere and further disrupting the natural carbon dioxide cycle (see global warming), and controlling the carbon dioxide produced by human activities is key to limiting global warming and the disruptive effects of climate change.

In various parts of the world—notably in Italy, Java, and Yellowstone National Park in the United States—carbon dioxide is formed underground and issues from fissures in the earth. Natural mineral waters such as Vichy water sparkle (effervesce) because excess carbon dioxide that dissolved in them under pressure collects in bubbles and escapes when the pressure is released. The chokedamp (see damp) of mines, pits, and old, unused wells is largely carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a raw material for photosynthesis in green plants and is a product of animal respiration. It is also a product of the decay of organic matter.

Carbon dioxide has varied commercial uses. Its greatest use as a chemical is in the production of carbonated beverages; it provides the sparkle in carbonated beverages such as soda water. Formed by the action of yeast or baking powder, carbon dioxide causes the rising of bread dough. The compound is also used in water softening, in the manufacture of aspirin and lead paint pigments, and in the Solvay process for the preparation of sodium carbonate. In some fire extinguishers carbon dioxide is expelled through a nozzle and settles on the flame, smothering it. It also has numerous nonchemical uses. It is used as a pressurizing medium and propellant, e.g., in aerosol cans of food, in fire extinguishers, in target pistols, and for inflating life rafts. Because it is relatively inert, it is used to provide a nonreactive atmosphere, e.g., for packaging foods, such as coffee, that can be spoiled by oxidation during storage. Solid carbon dioxide, known as dry ice, is used as a refrigerating agent.

There are three principal commercial sources for carbon dioxide. High-purity carbon dioxide is produced from some wells. The gas is obtained as a byproduct of chemical manufacture, as in the fermentation of grain to make alcohol and the burning of limestone to make lime. It is also manufactured directly by burning carbonaceous fuels. For commercial use it is available as a liquid under high pressure in steel cylinders, as a low-temperature liquid at lower pressures, and as the solid dry ice.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dry Ice


solidified carbon dioxide (CO2). Under ordinary conditions of atmospheric pressure and room temperature, dry ice changes directly to a gas, bypassing the liquid phase. Its name derives from its physical resemblance to ice. Industrial-grade dry ice has a density of approximately 1,560 km/m3 and absorbs approximately 590 kilojoules/kg (140 kilocalories/kg) during sublimation.

Dry ice is used to refrigerate food products, for example, ice cream, during shipment and storage. It is also used in producing low temperatures (approximately –79°C) in scientific research and in assembling and testing certain units in machine building.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

dry ice

[¦drī ′īs]
(inorganic chemistry)
Carbon dioxide in the solid form, usually made in blocks to be used as a coolant; changes directly to a gas at -78.5°C as heat is absorbed.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

dry ice

solid carbon dioxide, which sublimes at --78.5?C: used as a refrigerant, and to create billows of smoke in stage shows
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
For people in the ice cream business, dealing with dry ice can be an occupational hazard.
At the time, (https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-200) NASA explained that the gas produced from the sublimating dry ice was probably concentrated below the frozen hunk, creating "cushions" that help it flow smoothly down the slope and dig its channels into the land.
Dry ice blasting creates zero waste, resulting in saving time and money compared to conventional means.
Cold Jet's dry ice production equipment is said to offer the best output to footprint ratio and is made to UL, USDA, FDA and CE standards.
Careful modeling by Pilorget and Forget shows that the annual frosting of dry ice can become transparent enough to allow sunlight to pass through to ground level.
Dry Ice is basically compressed and frozen carbon dioxide, and is particularly useful for freezing and keeping goods frozen due of its very cold temperature, -78.5C, and as it changes from a solid back to a gas, is mess free.
A new process using dry ice as physical blowing agent has been developed at IKV [21].
| Professor John Kilcoyne creates a dry ice waterfall, |above, and student Nicole Carne, 13, of Coulby Newham, meets Aristotle the Harris hawk
Dry ice cleaning eliminates equipment damage, reduces scrap product when compared to alternative cleaning methods and allows for complete online cleaning so production time can be maximized and touch-up cleanings are safe and easy.
The dry ice-based BioT ULT Transporter is a portable system that addresses common methods of cooling that are insufficient, such as placing valuable biospecimens on dry ice in a styrofoam box.
The explosion occurred when some dry ice, which is solid carbon dioxide, was being unloaded from a truck in an alley on the company's premises.