Method to Make Dry Ice at Home

ScienceStruck Staff Oct 30, 2018
Are you searching for an easy method to make dry ice at home? Well, look no further, as here you will find a feasible way for making dry ice at home.
With the invention of refrigerator, making ice at home is no more a task. All you have to do is fill water in ice cube pans and leave them in the refrigerator. But making dry ice is entirely different. Dry ice is also known as card ice or "cardice". It is nothing but a solid form of carbon dioxide and is primarily used as a cooling agent.
It is a frozen form and there are many differences between the general ice and dry ice. Firstly, the surface temperature of dry ice is -109.3 degrees F, the temperature of ice varies. Secondly, it is not safe to handle dry ice as you would normal ice.
One needs to wear gloves while handling dry ice as the prolonged exposure can damage the skin. The same reason makes it impossible to consume dry ice, unlike normal ice.

How to Make Dry Ice at Home

Making dry ice at home is quite easy, but risky. As stated earlier, handling dry ice can be quite dangerous, so utmost care must be taken while making dry ice at home.
You will need protective gloves, carbon dioxide extinguisher, duct tape, protective eye-wear and cloth bag. Dry ice has a really low temperature and can cause irritation in case of contact. So, wear your gloves and eyewear and keep them on until you have finished making the dry ice. Also choose an empty place for the experiment. Lay the cloth on the floor.
Now secure the opening of the cloth bag to the nozzle of carbon dioxide extinguisher using the duct tape and make sure it is firmly done. Place the cloth bag straight on the flat surface. Slowly press the extinguisher level so that the carbon dioxide is released. Allow carbon dioxide to fill the bag for 10-15 seconds by pressing down the extinguisher level.
After 15 seconds, release the tape from the nozzle and the bag. You will see a bit of a snow-like substance gathering at the bottom of the bag which is nothing but the dry ice.
Transfer the dry ice to a heavy container by inverting the bag into the container. When you are done, dispose the ice immediately. Though this is an easy way to make dry ice at home, without a dry ice maker it isn't safe to make it in large quantities.

Uses of Dry Ice

Preservation of Food

Dry ice is mainly used for commercial purposes like preserving food. Due to it's low temperature, things tend to freeze upon enabling it to store food and use to export perishable items and medicine.

Industrial Uses

There are many industrial uses of dry ice such as blast cleaning or loosening asphalt floors. Blast cleaning comes in very handy, especially for removing different residues off of industrial equipment like paint, ink, rubber, etc.
Dry ice is used for freezing water in pipes without valves, as it becomes easy to repair them.

Dry Ice Bombs

Though this sounds dangerous, dry ice bombs are used for purely recreational purposes. Making dry ice bomb is quite simple - all you need to do is fill a bottle with water and dry ice. When the water starts sublimating, the pressure builds up causing the bottle to explode. This is, however, a very dangerous method as the explosion is unpredictable.
So, this was an easy way to make dry ice at home. You can use this method even for your science experiment! Do not use dry ice for anything except recreational purposes.