The topic I have chosen to write this report on is dry ice (also known as liquid nitrogen). This topic has quite an interest to me in a sense that I am curious about the dry ice as a whole. I have seen it being used but always thought about the manufacturing behind it. I am hopeful in finding out information such as what exactly dry ice is, how the dry ice is made/formed, what it has use for, and who was behind the making or discovery of dry ice. Some questions that I would like to find answers to include those such as: What is dry ice made up of? Are there any risks or hazards when dealing with dry ice? What effects does it have? Why is it used? How is it incorporated in the work industry?
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Dry ice is simply carbon dioxide in it’s solid form. When melted, it turns into carbon dioxide gas.
It is called dry ice because it does not melt like regular wet ice. Instead, it converts into carbon dioxide gas; it sublimates, meaning it goes from its solid form directly to its gaseous form. Because of its extremely cold (-78.5 ° C ), non- toxic and dry nature, it is commonly used as a refrigerant to ship frozen food or medical products or to cool materials during production.
Dry ice is composed of carbon dioxide, which at room temperature is a gas. Methods for creating dry ice may differ a little for each manufacture, but the basic concepts are usually the same. It is made by compressing carbon dioxide gas until it liquefies, which is at about 870 pounds per square inch of pressure at room temperature. When the pressure is releases, some of the liquid transitions into gas, cooling some of the liquid into dry ice frost or snow, which can be collected and pressed into pellets or blocks (Helmenstine, 2013). Dry ice pellets and dry ice blocks are the most commonly sold dry ice forms …show more content…
Dry ice should be handled with heavy safety gloves and not with bare hands as the resulting injury is very similar to a burn and should be treated with the same medical attention. Frostbite can be associated with this. If it comes in contact with skin it could kill the skin cells hence giving you dry ice burn. Also it should not be handled near pets or children. The -78.5 degree temperature could easily damage your skin if touched. Another risk with dry ice is ventilation. The area in which it is being handled should be well ventilated. Normal air is 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and only 0.035% carbon dioxide. If the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air rises above 5%, carbon dioxide can become toxic. (HowStuffWorks, Inc, 2013). In certain conditions, dry ice sublimes from its current state into carbon dioxide which has the risk of asphyxiation (being deprived of oxygen). Conditions such as changes in temperature and humidity can have an affect on this risk. This means that dry ice should be in safe storage. The better the insulation of the storage, the slower the sublimation rate and the longer the quality of the dry ice product will be maintained. Dry ice is not flammable or explosive, but it exherts pressure as it changes from solid dry ice to gaseous carbon dioxide. (Helmenstine, 2013) If it is placed in a seal container, there is a risk of rupturing of the cap when opened. To avoid this