Dry Ice Experiments - Feedback from our Visitors
In a prior life (I'm now an attorney based in Philadelphia) I used to
service soda machines. Not the kind which dispense cans/bottles.
Rather the ones that make carbonated water to mix with flavor in a
cup. Compressed CO2 gas at about a 1,000 psi is reduced to about
40psi into a steel container to which cold water (the colder the water
the better for the dissolving of CO2 into the water) (Carbon dioxide
is soluble in water, in which it spontaneously interconverts between
CO2 and H2CO3 (carbonic acid, Wikipedia) is added via strong motor
driven pump (Procon pump). When, the water is ejected into the cup
with flavor added, the pressure is released, the temperature rises and
the dissolved CO2 releases from the water via bubbling. Yes, you can
have CO2 as a liquid. It is a liquid at room temperature in a strong
steel tank at about 1000psi. You can even transfer it as a liquid
from tank to tank. (Very dangerous) Once the pressure is released,
the liquid will try to change state from a liquid to a gas. it will
"take" heat" from anything in order to use it to change state. I
would load a very large two story steel tank with solid CO2 (dry
ice). Seal the top. warm the tank with water along the outside which
the dry ice "uses" to change into a high pressure liquid. Then i
could attach a hose (obviously very, very strong) and connect smaller
tanks to the large one. Open the valves, While weighing the smaller
tank I could add about 30 lbs to the smaller tank to use in the soda
dispenser. To add a small amount of solid CO2 to a bottle could be
done with a little math. I suppose one could attach a balloon to the
top of a carbonated soda bottle. Measure the change in size of the
balloon as the soda warms and releases the dissolved CO2. Since solid
CO2 (dry ice) expands predictably, all you would have to do is work
backwards and add a small piece of dry ice weighing what you need to
dissolve into the cold water in the bottle to achieve that same
gaseous volume as was in the balloon.
Frankly, since i have been an attorney for the past 35 years, i might
be a tad rusty in my thoughts but this is pure math and physics.
Louis E. Slawe, Esq
Dear sir or madam,
I have just recently picked up the hobby of making sparking wine
(champagne). It requires taking a bottle of typical wine, putting it
into a thick walled champagne bottle, and adding a small amount of sugar
and fermenting yeast. The yeast will feed on the sugar and produce a
fair amount of carbon dioxide but since the bottle is capped off the gas
stays in the bottle. When the cork is popped, the gas bubbles off
through the liquid and when drank, gives that spritzy feeling associated
with sparkling wine.
Today, after researching about dry ice, I have come to the conclusion
that I can pour my finished wine into a bottle, drop a measured amount
of dry ice into the liquid, cap it quickly and wire down the cork.
After the dry ice is completely dissolved I should be able to open the
bottle, and drink it like any other sparkling wine. Since dry ice is
only a solid form of carbon dioxide gas I assume it will not pose any
health threat, I have read stories of people way back when they were
kids adding it to their homemade soda to make it fizzy.
The reason why I would find this approach to making a sparkling wine
more appealing is because when yeast re-ferments inside the bottle it
throws a deposit that looks like dust or sand and that deposit needs to
be "disgorged" out of the bottle before it can be drank or the flavor
will be ruined and the appearence will be cloudy. It is not that the
pressure is any less great than dry ice, the more sugar is added the
greater the pressure, thick glass champagne bottles can handle around 90
psi of pressure. While making my sparkling wine I am very serious about
safety and wear heavy clothes with a face shield while handling the
bottles and store them in an Igloo cooler while fermenting in the
unlikely case that one explodes. I plan to conduct an experiment with a
tiny amount of dry ice in sparkling wine bottles to better create the
drink I make. I wanted to pass the idea along for feedback and I will
contact you when I get some results.
I have in fact made carbonated water within a closed container. I made it
by putting a small (tip of your thumb size) piece of ice into a plastic
pepsi bottle adding water (of course..) and loosely tightened the cap. This
needs to be done very carefully! I tightened the cap completely and shook
the bottle as hard as I could. This increases the surface area of the water
against the CO2 bubbles, thus helping the atmosphere within the bottle lower
in pressure by reaching equilibrium. (Wrapping a towel aroud the bottle will
keep you safe from any explosion..) Once all of the dry ice has evaporated,
the result will be (highly) corbonated water. Sometimes, if there is enough
CO2 dissolved into the water, fog will reappear.... Although I have done
this several times, the first time I did it the pepsi bottle exploded and
scratched my hand, but didn't result in shrapnel.. Just a small crack in the
bottle. If you want to try it though, rolling it up in a towel should do the
Carbonated Chocolate Milk taste Great! But the Bubbles don't stop growing! A
good outside drink.
Strawberry Milk might look like Lava flow.
I used about a pea-sized piece of dry ice in a 2-liter bottle of home-
made strawberry wine. It was wonderful.
I did open the lid every so often to let any built-up gas escape, but I
think the tiny pea was okay. I pushed against the side of the bottle to
see how firm it was, and kept it in the refrigerator, and the wine was
cold to begin with. I think monitoring the firmness of the bottle would
be safe enough, as long as you started with such a small amount, and
never let it get very far. [I hadn't filtered the wine, so it did bubble
over when I opened it!]
Piet Van Allen
San Jose, CA
I was reading your article about dry ice and beverage carbonation. I found
that the Green "Perrier" half liter plastic bottles are very good at
resisting exploding and can build up a good amount of pressure. they are
good are resisting exploding and will explode given enough pressure so
always be careful. I dissected one and found that the bottle is made up of
two plastic layers, an outer green thicker plastic layer and an inner clear
thinner plastic layer. this unique design could explain why these bottle can
resist pressure. use a quarter sized chip of dry ice, filled the bottle half
way with ice cold water (ice cold water gives you more time to get away if
it does explode) and let it sit for one day. the next day do not squeeze the
bottle hard but if you do it will feel rock hard. do not drop it, throw it,
kick it, etc. be careful unscrewing the cap and point it away from your face
or anyone else. the water should be pretty carbonated. try longer time
exposures for different effects. once again these bottles can resist
pressure but they will explode, it is basically a bomb so be careful. FYI,
putting dry ice in a bottle and closing it is kinda illegal. This Email is
for informational use only. ; )
I just wanted to tell you about an experience I had with dry ice. While
camping with my family one summer I thought how neat it would be to use dry
ice instead of bagged water ice to keep our food cool in our cooler. Dry ice
works very well, actually too well as it froze the milk, lettuce, meat and
grapes that were in out cooler. We chucked the lettuce but as it was a hot
day frozen grapes sounded really nice. To our surprise when you popped one
in you mouth they had a fizzy taste. We had carbonated our grapes! It was
really a neat accidental experiment. So as a future MG science teacher I
will add this to one of the aspects of my lesson plan when I talk about CO2
and dry ice.
I have an interesting observation regarding the carbonation of drinks (for
which people have noted in your feedbacks you can do by adding dry ice). I
chaperoned for a family in Northumberland in 1999. They would shoot
pheasants and sorts. Being a science grad in chemistry I was intrigued by
this pump device they religiously put on all their soft-drink bottles in the
fridge. After taking a glass from the bottle you were meant to pump the
bottle back up with the pressure-pump lid that replaced its standard
capping. My mind wondered to partial-pressures. As I recall it, the
solubility of a gas in a liquid, across the liquid/atmosphere interface, is
directly proportional to the partial-pressure of its presence in the
atmosphere above the liquid interface. So for example if we have an
atmosphere of air (nitrogen/oxygen = 99.99%) above the soda-water then the
partial pressure of CO2 is close to Al Gore. Thus if you use this pump to
build up pressure in the bottle it would make absolutely no difference to
the partial-pressure of CO2 and thus absolutely no difference to the
fizziness of the drink. Thus this gadget (which fooled these oligarchs) was
a total patented scam? What you think?
Thanks for pointing this out. Yes, adding air (at any pressure) to the headspace above a
soft drink does nothing to dissuade the CO2 from coming out. The
original seltzer bottles that had CO2 cartridges are what you need.
These fill the headspace with CO2, which then establishes an equilibrium
with the CO2 dissolved in the soda.
Q: Hey I was wondering how much dry ice is a pound thanks.
A: The molar mass of CO2 is 44 grams.
A pound is about 453.6 grams.
So a pound of dry ice is 453.6/44 = 10.31 moles of CO2
The Ideal Gas Law says PV=nRT
P = pressure
V = volume
n = number of moles of the gas
R = gas constant .082057 L atm / K mol
T = temperature of the gas
This allows you to calculate the volume
of the gas if you know the temperature, the pressure and the quantity of
Working in liters, atmospheres (of pressure), Kelvins (for temperature),
and moles (for quantity), then the gas constant "R" is .082057 L atm / K
If we use room temperature, about 293 Kelvins,
1 atmosphere of pressure,
and 10.3 moles (for your 1 pound)
we get V = nRT/P = (10.3)(.082057)(293)/ (1) = 247.8 or about 250 liters
So, 1 pound of dry ice, when it "sublimes" (turns to gas) will produce
250 liters of gas, enough to fill 125 2-liter bottles.
I hope this helps!
Just so you know.. The results of placing dry ice in a container with water
and closing the top on it... results in being charged with a CLASS B FELONY
for manufacturing a bomb.
My 14 year old son and 2 friends were playing
around with this experiment and was bombarded with the FBI, Homeland
Security, The Bomb Squad and 6 Police Cars. They were playing around with
this in the front yard in open view. Neighbors called police complaining of
sounds like gunshots.
Even though all authorities knew they were playing, they still charged these
juvenile kids with a Class B Felony that will be on their records until they
are 18 years old.
This is apparently a very illegal experiment and obviously know one knows
I've done this experiment at a friends house, when we got dry ice for
the first time. We got wide range of experience from when we exploded
some(not actually some, about 50 actually :D) soda bottles. So we knew
when they would explode and when they were on the border to do so.
I found out that you can put in about any amount of dry ice, not too
much though, but about two small pellets, say 20 grams is enough.
- Put in 10-20 grams of dry ice.
- Close the bottle. If it gets too hard, open the cap a bit. Just let
it fizz for a second or two. Seal it tightly again.
- Repeat step 2 until all the dry ice has sublimated.
- Enjoy your sparkling water! :D
Additional. Add some flavouring! *thumbs up* Try the flavouring from
To expand the "Singing" or "Screaming Spoon" idea - I decided to add a few
different metal items to our dry ice during our experiments.
Wearing thick winter gloves, I pressed a penny, nickel, dime, quarter,
dollar coin, paper clip, and metal scissors to the dry ice. Different
sounds were emitted by different coins, objects. Even the older kids
laughed when I remarked, "I wonder what George Washington will have to say?"
Or, "What does Lincoln think about this?" " I wonder what Sacajawea's voice
sounds like?" The really cool part of this for teachers is that the
students have to listen so closely- without a sound - or they will miss the
noise made - because a paper clip makes such a slight noise that it is hard
to catch. I think we might use a microphone on it next time. Another
thing we did was the classic experiment of using an empty 10 gallon aquarium
with dry ice and hot water --creating the fog that dry ice is so famous
for. Then we shined different light sources into the fog: regular
flashlight, black light, laser pointer, and then we dropped a glow stick
into it. Now take the same tank, dry ice, and water and add Dawn dish
washing soap to it. After the bubbles fill the tank, shine the same lights
listed above into the bubbles. The kids had lots of "OOOs and AHHHHs" for
this effect. The reflection and refraction is different with the bubbles in
there. Shining the lights at different angles and from different sides of
the tank produced different effects- especially the laser pointer. One
more experiment that we did was to freeze a flower. Take a flower with a
lot of petals- like a mum or daisy, etc... Just lay it inside the cooler
with the extra dry ice while you conduct other dry ice experiments. Then
after it has had time to freeze, take it out and remark on the beauty of the
flower right before you smack it against the side of the aquarium. The
petals will shatter into crumbles. Enjoyed your site.
I do a science-is-fun presentation, usually for girl scouts, usually
about 10 years old. I ran across your site looking for some more cool
stuff to show them. I may have to carbonate grapes next time I do the
show. But you barely mentioned my favorite trick - balloon bombs. Pop
bottle bombs are WAY too dangerous, but balloon bombs are fun. It takes
a little less than 1/4 cup of dry ice pellets to explode a 9" balloon.
I put the kids in winter gloves, and have them put the dry ice in the
balloon. The balloon inflates very slowly, slow enough that the kids
can pass it around and feel the balloon as it inflates. When it pops
the dry ice drops, and the balloon fragments flutter not more than a
foot from the site of the explosion. You can speed it up with a heat
gun or hair dryer. I usually hold the balloon with one hand and the
heat gun with the other and have never even gotten stung by the balloon.
I also have them hold the dry ice over a lit votive candle and watch it
go out. I make my fog in a clear 4-cup pyrex measuring cup so the
audience can see the water ice shell that forms on the dry ice.
Here is a picture of a soapy bubble we created between experiments. The
bubble you see is at least 10cm in diameter. We made some warm soapy
water and threw in a large lump of dry ice. Just an awesome display!!!
We would be extremely honoured to see our effort on your great website.
Keep up the cool work!!! (haha - puntastic!!).
From Julian and Anthony
(Post-Doctoral Researchers, Imperial College London)
Brian, I saw on your message board that you hadnt heard of the dent removing
properties of dry ice... I don't know if you know of the others....
Car Dent Removal
Hold a little Dry Ice on a small car dent
and it will reduce the dent without
chipping or cracking the paint.
Keep Mosquitoes Away
Place a block of Dry Ice in your yard
and mosquitoes will be attracted to it,
instead of you and your guests.
The gas that Dry Ice creates (C02) is
heavier than air so it will find its way to
the bottom of gopher nests.
On the Singing Spoon, it might be worth specifying out that you should hold the spoon by the handle.
If you were to directly press the bowl against the dry ice the spoon could freeze to your fingers.
(I did something like that when I was kid, no lasting damage but it was pretty painful).
Popping Film Cans-
I have tried this and was amused by how the children started to try and
make games with this idea. One of
the games was catching the lid when it came back down and that gave me
Set the canister on the floor and put the dry ice and very little (a
couple of drops or so) water in with the dry ice, to speed up the sublimation.
Have the adult both put the lid on and watch that the children do not lean over the
Have the (kids, or adults, as in my case) hold their hands and arms
straight out with their hands open and
over the area where the lid will fly up and listen for the "pop" noise
and try and clap their hands together to
catch the lid as it goes up!!!
This was what 2 adult females, 1 adult male, 4 children and myself did
last night for about 2 or 3
hours. The nine year old boy was outdoing all of us!
Thanks for the ideas on your page, hope this idea is a big hit!!!!
I was reading your web page about the accident involving the dry ice
and the loss of the woman's sight. On July 3, 1999
a similar accident happened in my family.
My then three year old son was seriously injured, He lost one of his
eyes, his right thumb was 75% severed and broken,
his left thumb was 50% severed and he had a gash about 4 inches long on
his stomach. I had also never heard of this
and was mortified. My son is now doing wonderful and we are very vocal
about it to let people know what can happen with what
I found out after the fact to be called
"dry ice bombs".
I think this is a pretty important issue, as there seems to be much
interest in sealing dry ice into those two-liter soda bottles. If anyone
experiments with dry ice bombs in front of an audience, please stress
the hazards, and the safety precautions one should take:
- Squeezing the air out of the bottle before sealing it gives you time to
set it down and back away before it explodes.
- Wearing eye and ear protection is advisable, as is wearing heavy-duty
- Do back away to a safe distance. Most of the accidents that have
occurred have been due to the bottle exploding in the person's hands or
when the person was within a couple of feet of the bottle. I would
estimate a MINIMUM of 5 meters or 15 feet (with ear protection).
I'm reading your Dry Ice experiment page, trying to educate myself about
how to make fog. My wife and I are also homeschoolers, by the way. My
son turns 7 tomorrow, and I'm making the cake decorations. He has chosen
to have a "rocket" party, so we're going to make Alka-Seltzer rockets
and some other fun stuff. I have built a "launch pad" for the top of the
cake, on which will sit a small Estes rocket. I've rigged up a small
container to sit under the pad with a drinking straw that extends from
the sealed container up into the body of the rocket. The effect I'm
after is to have the DI fog appear to come out of the tail of the
rocket, as if it's almost about to take off.
Here's my question for you...
I read on your page that dry ice fog "hugs" the ground. Do you think it
will be able to make its way up the straw and out? Straw is only ~4"
long. I'd appreciate your thoughts. Relative to your ponderings about
placing DI in a sealed container, you really should check out this guys website
(http://www2.be.com/~dbg/antics/index.html). These guys are a little
"crazy", making CO2 "bombs" with 2 liter soda bottles. Stand back!! I'm
glad I found your site. I'll definitely be back.
It will if the straw is sealed to the
container. A film can would work well for this. If not enough fog is
produced with just the dry ice in the container, add a little warm water.
Thanks for the reply. Straw sealed to
container worked GREAT! Kids were amazed...
Isn't it great to do this stuff for the kids? I love it!
Absolutely! And to think, my wife didn't think
that I should spend $8 on 12 lb. of dry ice... (she was amazed as well).
Thank you so much for your timely and well
thought answer. And thanks again for putting your observations out for
us to view. You, so far are the only one who has put out info we can do
something with. thanks!
I have a few questions for the dry ice
carbonation experiment. What kind of stores can I purchase my dry ice?
You can find dry ice at an ice dealer. These
folks usually sell ice, dry ice, beer and wine, balloons and sometimes other party supplies.
Is it safe to drink the water when I mixed it with dry ice?
Not until the dry ice is completely gone!
Morris Dayan wrote:
The specific information I will like is: What is exactly dry ice (details)?
Dry ice is solidified Carbon Dioxide gas. It
is obtained by releasing liquid Carbon dioxide out of a high pressure
storage container, and collecting the "snow" that forms.
I would like more information about the experiments in the page: Popping
Film Cans, Inflating a Balloon...
These experiments all demonstrate the volume
change that occurs when the solid
CO2 warms and turns back into a gas.
Fog is created when moist air comes into
contact with the still-quite-cold CO2
formed from the solid. Some of the water that is in the air will freeze out
the dry ice. Some of the water in the air will condense into tiny cloud droplets,
the fog you see.
... and carbonation.
Carbonated beverages have CO2 gas dissolved in
them, usually under pressure. When
release the pressure, the CO2 starts to bubble back out of the beverage. If left
the beverage will go "flat". By bubbling CO2 gas through a beverage, you can
a little bit. If you arrange to hold the beverage in a closed container, you can
carbonate it more, because the pressure will remain high, and the CO2 won't be
able to escape.
Doing CO2 carbonation experiments is dangerous, because the container might
Elsewhere on the Web there are instructions on how to make a very loud bang this
do not recommend it, because you can damage your eardrums. But the info is out
... And if you know about any experiments with Dry Ice (that are not in the
web site) please tell me.
If you have a strip of magnesium metal, it
will burn when you light it, with an
Intense white flame. It even burns when immersed in CO2 gas
(a regular candle flame will be
snuffed out). The magnesium steals the oxygen from the carbon in the CO2, and
tiny particles of carbon shoot out. It's amazing.
When I make the project, I will send you the
pictures of the experiments.
(if you want them!). Thank You,
Good luck, Morris
When looking for truth behind a rumor
concerning dry ice, I came across
your page. I could not find any answers so I was wondering if you could
help me out.
A hail storm a few months back caused numerous dents in my car. Some
were very large. A friend of mine told me that dry ice can be used to
remove the dents, but he did not know how to do this. If you can shed
any light on this idea it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you,
No, I'm sorry. I've never heard of that one.
And I can't imagine any application of dry ice that would remove dents.
I think there're only two ways to remove them: by pulling or hammering
them out, or by filling them in with Bondo, then refinishing.
Well thanks anyway. I already knew about the
other methods, but figured there might be a shot that it could work. I
couldn't understand how dry ice could fix dents but figured someone out
there might know, if it was possible. I will have to inform my friend
that this information is not true. If he has a detailed method I will
send it to you. I will probably try it out seeing that my car is a
junker and let you know.
This is interesting. I had never heard of the
acoustic lens effect. Should be part of any teaching on acoustic waves.
I would have like to see more on the basic properties of dry ice, like
density, how many liters of gas does 1 cc of ice produce. This would
introduce quantitative aspects into the picture.
Jean-Pierre Raynauld Ph.D.
Thank you for the information that you have
posted. I am interested in using dry ice in a dyno room for cooling
water systems. One question - does evaporating dry ice influence the
burn of an internal combustion engine if it makes it way into the
carburetor? Thanks again for any information that you may have to
offer. The dry ice will not be introduced directly to the water.
Dry ice displaces oxygen, so if the
concentration of CO2 is great enough, it could conceivably choke an engine.
can I ask your advice please - I am organizing a bridal fair and want to
create some fog effect. If I buy some dry ice how long will it be
useable if I keep it in polystyrene container I need it to last 48 hours
before I can use it.
Thank you for any suggestions
Excellent written information on dry ice. I'm
putting this page in my favorites.
How much heat does it take to melt dry ice?
I WAS VERY INTERESTED IN YOUR DRY ICE EXPERIMENTS. I WAS WONDERING IF YOU
WOULD HAPPEN TO KNOW WHETHER INHALING DRY ICE WOULD BE DETRIMENTAL TO
ONE'S HEALTH? SEEMS LIKE AN ODD QUESTION BUT I WAS JUST CURIOUS. THANK YOU.
Oh, yes. It can suffocate you. You must be careful not to let the
concentration of CO2 rise too high, displacing the oxygen.
But as far as a whiff of the gas debilitating you, no. It won't do that. You
may notice a little stinging, as you sometimes get when you inhale the
vapors from a soda. This is caused by the CO2 that is dissolved in water
mist. It forms carbonic acid. Carbonic acid is pretty weak.
thank you very much for your quick reply. The reason I had asked that
question was that several years ago in Germany I used to see teenagers
who were seemingly smoking tobacco were in fact smoking dry ice wrapped
in paper. Unfortunately, I began smoking cigarettes at about the same
time and it occurred to me that this if safe might be an interesting
smoking cessation device. what do you think of that possibility. thanks
again for your reply.
my name is Kaila and I am a high school student in Danville California.
I just wanted to say thanks for having this site! I was searching for
some info on dry ice, and got the absolutely most random things, so it
was nice to get real information. anyway, have a great life!
I have tried using dry ice to carbonate water in a closed container. It was
actually a CO2 bomb in a plastic beer bottle which failed to explode. I
gingerly opened the turgid bottle, and found that the resulting soda water
was *extremely* fizzy! The next try was even better, as the bottle actually
exploded, shot 20 feet into the air and sounded like a bomb.
Thank you for the fun and interesting experiments with dry ice. Do you
know of any other really good web pages with fun and exciting experiments I
could do for my mad scientist Halloween haunted house?
Hey, thanks for posting this very interesting dry ice experiment page. I am
a science teacher 6-8 that just got some dry ice at the last minute, and
wanted to make the most of it. I didn't have any time to think of good
demonstrations to do, then I found your web site. Thanks :)
While doing some of the experiments with the kids today I encouraged them
to think of some ideas of their own etc. We ended up putting liquid
dish soap in the beaker with the dry ice, which formed a great deal of
neat soap bubbles with water vapor and CO2 trapped inside. They were able
to scoop the bubbles out of the beaker and pop them in their hands, where
the vapor was then released. They found it pretty exciting, and I though
you might like to add it to you list. Glycerin should work very well for
that too, but I have not tried that.
JOHN M.H. WILBERS
Hey, that's great! I'm glad you had so much fun. And I really appreciate the
I am transporting some biological specimens, packed in dry ice, from
Mexico to New York next week and
have a question about storage. The dry ice vendor tells me if I do not
put holes in the cooler it could explode.
The airlines say I MUST NOT put holes in the cooler. Advice? Could you
respond via email to: Nancy,
N_Winterbauer@hotmail.com? And who are you? Thanks. NW
Yes, you should put holes into the cooler if it makes a tight seal
otherwise. But you could also just make sure that the lid doesn't seal
perfectly by judicious placement of little bits of tape.
If you do use holes, they can be quite small: 1/8 diameter or so, so
they could be very difficult to detect.
Thanks for your help. Nancy W
thanks for the information. we've been trying to learn more about it
and your site greatly helped. we're going to have a Halloween bash in
the next couple of days and a friend clued me in where I can get it in
our neck of the woods!
I just got done reading your article on making fog with dry ice. I want
to try that, but I want to make sure that the dry ice will not burst as
long as it is in an uncovered container with warm water, right?
Please reply. And thank you very much in advance.
No, nothing will burst if you do not try to seal it in an airtight
I saw your web site about dry ice. The name of the
process of a solid going to a gas is
sublimation, what is the name of the process of a gas
going to a solid?
The process of a gas going to a solid is called Deposition.
this is a great site it saved me I have a science report do tomorrow.
thanks a bunch this was just great.
Thank you for so many great ideas for experimenting with dry ice.
We found a fun one on our own yesterday I thought you might like.
bubble maker or volcano
You will need:
A small squeeze bottle - a small mustard bottle works well
tongs and/or a spoon for handling the dry ice
small cube/chunk of dry ice
about 1/8 tsp. liquid soap - we used dishwashing soap
you may want to use a pie or cake tin to contain some of the bubbles
that flow out
fill the bottle about 2/3 full with warm water
place the soap into the OPEN cap
put the dry ice in the bottle and quickly screw on the open lid
the bubbling starts almost immediately and the bubbles are filled with
you can make the bubbles larger using your fingers and gently pulling
them out - you can also make bubble chains by pulling gently on a bubble
with your finger then easing back a little
Your spoon-dry ice thing also works with a quarter.
In this case, I have gotten people to "listen to George Washington cry"
Oh! That's a good one.
I need to do a science project by March. I want to do it on dry Ice but
don't know where I can buy any. Could you please tell me where I can get
Dry ice is easy to find in most towns. Look in your local yellow pages
under Dry Ice.
Do you know a website that sells dry ice online and can ship it
anywhere in the us. Preferably somewhere near Virginia or in Virginia.
No, I'm afraid I don't. Dry ice is so cheap that there's probably no
money to be made that way.
You may have to order a case of frozen steak or lobster. That will come
packed in dry ice :-)
In short , I was wondering if dry ice could be, or already is, used for
fighting fires. If so, what kind of problems could there be.
Some fire extinguishers contain liquid CO2. There is no problem with
this. In fact, it is a better way to transport the stuff (higher
Thanks for writing back -- I was asked to invest in a start up company that
is trying to market "dry ice" for fighting fires, In theory - fire needs
oxygen to grow and dry ice would take that but I have problems believing that
as long as dry ice has been around it hasn't been thought of before for
fighting fires..... Maybe it is to costly -transporting- producing, etc.
----Anyway I'll keep on searching ---
Yes. Actually, when a liquid CO2 extinguisher is discharged at a fire,
what comes out is partly dry ice. The liquid CO2 expands rapidly and
cools enough so that part of it freezes.
Anyone promoting using dry ice to fight fires as a new idea is either
trying to fool you or has not done their homework.
I'm glad you did YOUR homework!
This start up company is planning on dropping dry ice pellets from the air or
shooting dry ice pellets on a fire by a gun or a hose...... Sound crazy???
Now that you say that, it may be an efficient way to ensure that the CO2
makes it all the way to the fire. Liquid CO2 wouldn't have a chance. I
would look further into it to see whether:
1) This is really a new idea and
2) Whether they have done any tests yet.
Other inquiries, such as how strong their marketing is (do they have any
firefighting insiders, etc.) should also be conducted before investing.
Or just do stock market. That's doing quite well lately!
So far I have not been able to find any info. on fighting fires in this method.
company has not reached the stock market yet and this only offering shares, I
got involved with it to deeply because somewhere deep, deep down I see the word
"SCAM"---I may be totally off base and will probably kick myself in the butt if
goes. The idea sounds great and it might word BUT what about transport it in the
form and what about having a large amount on hand, this company is selling the
equipment for all this but I also feel that it would be WAY to much money for any
company to afford.. Anyway thanks again.. GREGG
Yes, especially compared to the present materials used for the same
thing: water, usually, and sometimes a chemical powder (the identity of
which I don't know).
And if you smell a scam, you surely don't want to put your money there.
I have worked with dry ice and have played with it to. Try this one.
Crush enough dry ice to get about half a cup then pour this into a two
liter pop bottle. Have the cap ready then pour half a cup of water in.
Cap quickly and tightly and throw it. If you get it to land in some
water the effect is better.
Brian: I am an amateur but I am conducting some research to see if dry
ice would form naturally on deep ocean floors as gas from beneath the
bottom of the ocean reaches the boundary line between the floor and
We know that the temperatures in the deep ocean trenches are way below
freezing, and the pressures are tremendous. Would this cause bubbles of
CO2 coming from the Earth's mantle
to freeze on the ocean floor, and prevent them from reaching the sea
How is dry ice manufactured? Could conditions on the sea floor
manufacture it automatically?
Your web page indicates that hot water causes dry ice to bubble and
sublimate in a hurry. Would extremely low temperatures, high pressures,
and a lack of oxygen, prevent it from sublimating?
Thanks for a response.
Ok, I don't have any suggestions I was just wondering if you knew how much
pressure it takes for the lid to pop off in the popping film cans experiment
I'm gonna do it for a chemistry project and my teacher wanted me to see if I
couldn't find out.
Nope. That's something you'd have to measure. There are miniature
electronic pressure transducers on the market that aren't very
expensive. Connect one to the can via some plastic hose, and be sure to
If you get through all this, let me know!!
Do you think it is possible to clean a deep well strainer with dry ice any
input you have on this manner would be appreciated. Please e-mail
Thank you for sending me the information I needed. This will be a great
help to me. And thank you for answering me so quickly too!!!
why does dry ice go from a solid form to a gas form?
why does dry ice go from a solid form to a gas form?
The short answer is that the intermolecular forces are not strong enough
to hold liquid CO2 together at regular atmospheric pressure and room
This should not be surprising. If you lower atmospheric pressure, you
will find a point at which regular water ice does the same thing. As the
water melts (at 32 degrees F or 0 degrees C) the water molecules leave
the surface of the ice directly. There is not enough air pressure to
hold the liquid together.
have another question: Why does some of the sun's rays go through the atmosphere and some doesn't, and how does it
Some light is ABSORBED by the atmosphere because of the things the light
energy does to the air molecules (usually O2 or N2, Oxygen or Nitrogen).
When the light strikes a molecule, it causes the molecule to either move
faster or vibrate faster or rotate faster. The exact interaction depends
on the WAVELENGTH of the light, because this determines the size of the
energy quantum of the light. Energy is always absorbed or transferred in
chunks called quanta. If the size of the quantum matches the amount of
energy required to cause a molecule to vibrate a little bit faster, it
is absorbed by the molecule. If not, the molecule ignores it.
For example, light having a wavelength from 5 to 8 microns (thousandths
of a millimeter) is absorbed by water vapor in the atmosphere. That is
in the infrared portion of the spectrum.
I hope you can help me. I am looking for information on lasers, just basic info something that a grade 5/6
student could understand. Could you guide me a site etc.?
Thank you yours in education
Try http://www.laserfx.com. They have a basic tutorials as well as
activities you can do.
the planets subject would help because that is what we are learning in
I tend to pay more attention to science things you can do in your home
laboratory. Do you have a laboratory? What kind of science experiments
do you do there?
To whom this may concern,
I am a third grade teacher and my class is talking about crystallization. I
was wondering if it was possible for you to send me a science experiment
about how to make your own rock candy out of sugar, water, string, pencil,
and a jar. I know what materials to use but don't have any idea of the
measurements, so if you could please help I would really appreciate it.
Try this site from Beakman's World:
Really enjoyed your website! I am a homeschooler and I am always
looking for fun and exciting ways to teach. Jane Hoffman (The Backyard
Scientist) is my absolute favorite. I have seen her at two homeschool
conferences. I even have a picture with her. She is a wonderful woman
and a great inspiration.
My kids really love doing experiments with dry ice. That is how we
found your website is by looking up experiments using dry ice. Please
let us know when you add any additions to your website.
Mary Anthony (firstname.lastname@example.org)
THANKS FOR THE GREAT PAGE.
I WONDER IF YOU CAN HELP US. MY SON IN 7TH GRADE NEEDS
TO DESIGN A "SUBMARINE" TYPE OBJECT: NAMELY ONE THAT WILL
SINK SLOWLY ON ITS OWN IN WATER AND THEN COME TO THE SURFACE
ON ITS OWN. I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE ANY HELP.
Something that uses an Alka Seltzer tablet comes to mind. That's how
those "Frogman" toys of old worked. An air cavity within them would fill
with water and they would sink. The water would start a bicarbonate
tablet fizzing, and would fill up the cavity with gas, displacing the
water, and it would float again.
Various things could be tried to duplicate this process: I'm thinking of
plastic dispenser bottles, film canisters and the like.
Do you know about Cartesian divers?
THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE IDEAS . WE'LL GIVE IT A TRY.
I'm trying to locate a description of how to make a clay volcano that will
erupt for my sons science project tomorrow and I can't find
anything anywhere. Can you help us please? Thanks. 6th gr. MOM
This is probably too late...
Just make the volcano using your choice of materials: papier mache,
build a cup into the cone if papier mache, the clay will hold liquid if
you just make a depression in it.
For erupting material you can use baking soda and red-food-colored white
vinegar, or just red-wine vinegar.
Put the baking soda into the depression in the top of your volcano, and
add the same quantity of vinegar. Stand back.
Teach us how to make a battery using items found at home. My science project
is to make a battery. my teacher gave me a piece of copper and something
silvery labeled NZ. please help!
the silvery stuff is Zinc, Zn.
Stick a piece of copper and a piece of zinc into various vegetables such
as potato, lemon, orange, etc and measure the potential (the voltage)
across the two electrodes.
I have a question. The discussion is natural gas.
Does natural gas get shipped to homes or businesses in a gas form or a liquid form?
Second Question - I am saying, "If you raise the pressure high enough
you can turn anything from a gas form to a
liquid form". Is this a correct statement?
LNG is Liquefied Natural Gas. This is the form, I believe, in which it
is shipped in large tankers. In use, however, it is CNG - Compressed
There is also something called LPG - Liquefied Petroleum Gas. This is
propane and/or butane.
Some gases do not liquefy above a certain temperature. For example
if you raise the temperature of liquid CO2 in a closed vessel it turns
into a quasi liquid/gas. There is something called a phase diagram which
plots phase (solid/liquid/gas) over temperature and pressure. Usually
the diagram looks like three lines at different angles that meet at a
point called the triple point. I think you can find these diagrams in
the CRC handbook of chemistry and physics.
Not to bother you or anything but do you know how by any chance how to make
It is so inexpensive that it is usually cheaper to buy it for all but
the largest volume users, but you can make dry ice from liquid CO2 by
releasing it out of an expanding nozzle. Edmund Scientific co used to
sell such nozzles.
Another place to look for a dry ice producing thing would be at a well
stocked fire safety store. Look for a CO2 fire extinguisher. They
produce CO2 "snow".
This sight is cool. After my science project is done I am going
to come back and "Experiment"!
A few days ago you helped me with a question I had about Dry Ice. ( my
Teacher thought it was a chemical reaction too, before I enlightened
her ) Boy did that make me feel good!...
...Any way I have just one more
question. What about baking soda and Vinegar?
That's a chemical reaction. But how do I describe it scientifically. I
know the vinegar breaks down the compound of the baking soda releasing
the carbon dioxide back to it's gas state.
Vinegar is acetic acid, CH3COOH. That H (hydrogen) on the end likes to
come off the molecule when you dissolve it in water, and forms H+ ion,
which is the reactive part of ALL acids.
Baking soda is NaHCO3. When you dissolve it in water, the Na (sodium)
separates from the rest, and now there's Na+ and HCO3- floating around
The H+ grabs OH- from the HCO3-, forming H2O (water), and leaving CO2
(carbon dioxide), which bubbles out of solution. The Na+ is still in
there, and so is CH3COO- (acetate ion). If you evaporated the water, the
Na+ and the CH3COO- would combine, forming Sodium Acetate.
Can dry ice be stored long in a normal freezer since
it might melt since
its colder then a freezer and is it safe, what would u
recommend for a safe
long time storage
No, storing dry ice in a freezer does no good, for the reason
stated. If you want to store dry ice, you just insulate it. A
chest is a reasonable container. Anything more would be a waste
I have stored ten pounds of dry ice for several hours. If you
longer period (several days?) then you're out of luck. Note that
more dry ice you start with, the longer it will last, since
scales more rapidly than surface area.
- Do not store in a closed room in which there are living things, as the
carbon dioxide gas can cause suffocation.
- Do not store in an airtight container, as it WILL explode
I've been there).
Would it be safe if I had chunks of dry ice in several glasses
basement with the water bubbling and steaming for at least 5
any danger to people?
Think about the amount of ventilation you will have. Will a door
open, and will people be coming and going? Are there any other
of fresh air? Are you aiming for a "ground hugging" fog, or a
One thing you might try is to calculate the volume of gas you
releasing, and relate it to the overall volume of air in the
Do you know how to do this, or do you need help?
Is this for Halloween?
Something I would like to do now that I read about it
Exploratorium site, I think) is to have a container trapping a
carbon dioxide. (Fish tank ?)
Then, blow bubbles into the container. I imagine they will float
That's an incomplete idea, which still needs experimentation.
But you are correct. The bubbles will float.
Another thing that's neat is to place a candle into the aquarium
light it before putting the dry ice in. Then you will have a
indication of when the CO2 rises to flame level. Sometimes the
detached from the candle, but keeps burning because paraffin
still rising off the wick. But this eventually ceases because
Hi, I was just wondering how much dry ice should be added to any
proportion of water to create a safe drink for children. Like
much dangerous, and if so , how much is too much?
It's dangerous only if you put it into a closed container. It
It also could be dangerous if there was any dry ice left in the
and someone swallowed it or got it stuck in their throat.
I am a mystery writer who is researching a murder method
involving dry ice. Assuming a room containing 1000 cubic feet of
air, how much dry ice would have to be introduced so that when
sublimated it raised the CO2 content of the room from less than
1% to about 10%?
I would appreciate any help you can give me with respect to
1000 cubic feet is 28,300 liters. CO2 has a density (at 25
Celsius) of 1.83 grams per liter. So for a ten percent
you'd need 2,830 liters of CO2, or 2,830 X 1.83= 5.18 kilograms of
I have a few questions about this:
1) How efficiently can you replace the air with the CO2? If
is sealed, you will not be replacing the air, but adding CO2 to
increasing the total pressure in the room. In which case, you'd
more CO2 to achieve the ten percent number. If the room is not
you'd likely be venting some CO2 as you vent the air. Again,
2) Is a ten percent concentration of CO2 fatal?
3) For the sake of your mystery, what evidence does 11 (or
twenty) pounds of dry ice leave? Does the victim notice the dry
under the bed (or wherever)? Or has the room been filled with
beforehand? Does the victim suffer a smothering feeling, causing
to try to leave the room? Is the victim sleeping?
Thank you for your response to my query.
In response to your questions:
--the room is sealed, so there will have to be more CO2
10%. (Idea as to how much more?)
--10% by volume (100,000 ppm) results in unconsciousness
by dizziness, sweating, increase in blood pressure; it takes
less than a
minute if concentration is 11%); death from asphyxiation is
--other than leaving the air cold, CO2 leaves no damning
(And in my story there is another explanation for the cold).
locked in room, so no escape. This leaves me with one more
long does it take 5 kilos of dry ice to evaporate at 0 degrees
Thank you again for your help (I will include you in the
if you like)--
Hi. I'm a mom helping my daughter with her science project. She
committed to do
a thing that she saw on a "ideas for science projects" video
and now she
can't find any information to work it. The boy on the video (who
and cheers for his project) injected different temperatures of
air into an
container that held dry ice. Each temperature of air bubble
differently. When I return to her next week (I'm 600 miles away
caring for a
sick relative) I plan to just go buy the stuff and let her try
this. That will
tell us a bunch. But if someone, other than the un-retrievable
guy on that
rotten video can say they've done it already and explain some of
that would be VERY interesting to look at. Got any suggestions?
In the mean
time, we have really enjoyed your site here and wish we would
have seen it
first. What a bunch of fun ideas! We will try them just for fun
when we do get
the dry ice. Thanks! LKern
The only experiment I know of along these lines is to blow soap
bubbles into a
tank (usually an aquarium) containing carbon dioxide gas. The
gas can be from dry
ice, or from a baking soda/vinegar mixture. The bubbles float on
top of the CO2,
because exhaled breath, being mostly air, slightly enriched with
CO2, is lighter
than pure CO2.
I don't know how you would be able to control the temperature of
such soap bubbles
without a (probably) expensive temperature controller. Also, I
don't think that
the results you would be proving - that cold air is denser than
warm - is very
much worth the extra effort. You can prove the same thing using
demonstration: hang a lunch - sized paper bag upside down from
each end of a
yardstick or meter stick. Suspend the stick from its center
forming a beam
balance. Bring a lit candle or other heat source under one of
them so that it
heats the air within one of the bags. This will make the hot -
air end of the
balance lighter than the cold air one, and the balance will tip.
I just thought of a variation on this: hang the bags from the
stick upright, and
"pour" some CO2 gas into one of them, tipping the scale!
do you have a recipe for dry ice thank you Aaron junior in high school
Dry ice is made by using a special nozzle on a bottle of liquefied CO2.
The nozzle lets the liquid expand in a controlled way. As it expands it boils off, cooling
it down quite a lot. Some of the liquid becomes cold enough to freeze.
You can demonstrate this principle if you have some of that "freez it" spray - available
in electronics repair shops. The freez it is Freon, and when you squirt it out of the can
it too boils, and sometimes some of it freezes.
I would like to know at what temp. dry ice must be stored.
Dry ice is stored in insulated containers. No one ever attempts
refrigerate it to avoid loss - it would be ridiculously
compared to the cost of making more dry ice. Visit your dry ice
to see the containers they use.
not seeing a direct answer, I must ask.
the question was
*if I sit in a tub full of dry ice, will I get wet?*
since dry ice is not water at all, the answer should be no?
or den, would a chemical reaction form, causing humid air...
I'm not acquainted with chemical reactions, but...
...would it be possible to mix the atoms up with hydrogen, after
down, and thus producing water? bill Nye did that once, I
think, but only
with hydrogen and oxygen, and it blew up.
This is a theoretical question, I presume, because actually
doing it would kill
you by hypothermia.
Yes, you would get wet. The temperature of dry ice is well below
for all but the driest air. So water would condense out of the
air, and in fact
would freeze onto the dry ice. The heat from your body would
*some* of it, so your body would get wet.
It's not a chemical change, but a physical change.
The reaction between hydrogen and oxygen releases a lot of
energy. It is the
oxidation, or burning, of the hydrogen.
Hydrogen itself *might* burn in CO2. I don't have the enthalpy
tables in front
of me, so I can't tell.
I do know that the metal Magnesium burns in an atmosphere of
CO2. It is very
interesting. The metal steals the oxygen away from the carbon.
You can actually
see carbon particles produced.
how do I make dry ice please reply and tell me how
By attaching an expander nozzle to a liquid CO2 cylinder, then
it on. Much easier to just buy it.
How is Dry Ice made?
I need to know for extra credit in my science class. I would
appreciate it if you could tell me or tell me where to look to
Dry ice is made from liquid carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide gas
into a storage tank and cooled by refrigeration. As more CO2 is
the tank, the pressure rises. At a certain pressure, the CO2
a liquid. The CO2 can be pumped into smaller tanks and delivered
anywhere. Most restaurants have CO2 bottles connected to their
If you connect a nozzle to the tank that allows the CO2 to
from the bottle, and then release the nozzle, you will generate
This occurs because the rapidly expanding liquid boils into a
getting very cold. It then freezes into a solid due to the
Actually, because of the extreme cold, the CO2 may not even get
gaseous phase before it freezes.
At normal atmospheric pressure, CO2 cannot exist as a liquid.
When dry ice
is warmed, it goes directly from a solid state to a gaseous
state. This is
called "sublimation". But if the pressure is increased, a
pressure will be
reached at which the CO2 can exist as a liquid.
thanks so much for your quick reply. God bless you. Adrienne
You're welcome. Thanks for writing!
Enjoyed your experiments with dry ice. There was one I saw 3
or 4 years
ago at the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago. They have
responded to my daughter's request; perhaps you can help.
The demonstrator slowly stuffed an entire helium(?)-filled
bouquet into an ice bucket filled with dry ice(?). A bit
removed the balloons, one at a time, and we watched them
reinflate and rise. As soon as one of the balloons had
hit it with a hammer, shattering the orb.
Attempts to reproduce the experiment have failed. Perhaps the
are wrong? The procedure? Good thing I tried it at home
attempting it in front of my 5th graders...
Most grateful for any insights you could lend,
That wasn't dry ice, that was liquid nitrogen.
Hello. Can dry ice be used to create a Halloween effect with a
punch... and can we drink the punch while the dry ice is still
Definitely. Just don't swallow any dry ice.
The bottle expands, and it explodes shortly after with a sound
of either a
gunshot or explosion. only try this outdoors with a 2 liter Pepsi
my question is we had a Halloween party and put dry ice in a
put punch around it. can you put it in something that you can
because it turns to a slush, can you eat it ? what will happen?
just wondering what dry ice was and you helped, just wondering
Yes, you can drink (or eat) something dry ice is in. Just don't
eat the dry
ice itself!! Don't serve to small children, etc.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR MAKING DRY ICE? IF ONE ALREADY HAS
CO2 IN SMALL 14
OZ CYLINDERS CAN IT BE USED SOME HOW? MY OBJECTIVE IS TO MAKE
DRY ICE BALLS. HOPEFULLY YOU WILL HAVE SOME IDEAS OR BE ABLE
TO DIRECT ME
TO A SOURCE.
Dry ice is made from liquid carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide gas
into a storage tank and cooled by refrigeration....
THANK YOU FOR YOUR QUICK RESPONSE. I AM NOT CERTAIN THAT I
YOUR EMAIL HOW LIQUID CO2 IS CHANGED INTO ICE AT -100 DEGREES F.
I HAVE SEEN
SMALL SHORT CYLINDERS OF DRY ICE. I AM TRYING TO MAKE OR BUY
MARBLE SIZE DRY
ICE BALLS FOR PARTY DECORATION.
Much less hassle to buy them. I wouldn't even bother to make
them. Contact your
local ice/beer place. They should have dry ice in pellet form or
in slabs. You
can break slabs into chunks if you need to.
The heat of vaporization that is needed by the liquid boiling
into a gas is drawn
from the liquid stream itself, so part of the liquid turns into
where do you get dry ice that is affordable that steams thank
you my e
From an ice supplier. You can buy as little as a pound of it
for around a
I saw your "Saturday Scientists" page on the Web at
and you asked for feedback on carbonation using dry ice. I did
experiment with my son this weekend, and he wrote it up for his
science teacher at school. I'm attaching his write-up, as it
the procedure pretty well. We didn't do a liquid, we did
They're a good party food, people seem to like them a lot.
A few points on the procedure:
We chose a two-liter plastic soda bottle to be the containment
chamber for carbonation because they're designed to withstand
strong internal pressure. A friend of mine has experimented
those bottles, and tells me that you can consistently get up to
atm before they blow up. If you duct-tape the bottle, you can
even higher, but that's a different kind of science experiment.
With the grapes in there, there's maybe a half-liter of
space for gas, so you get close to 10 atm not counting gas that
permeates the grape skin and dissolves in the grape. This is
seat-of-the-pants, but 10g seemed to work about right.
I put the bottle in a cooler while the dry ice sublimated in
*did* blow up. The cooler would keep the mess and any shards of
plastic contained. The bottle wasn't frighteningly hard when we
pulled it out.
Once you decant the grapes, they stay noticeably fizzy for an
We also tried blueberries, but that didn't turn out as well.
can hear the berries fizz when you decant them, but the flesh is
a little mealier and you can't really feel the carbonation on
tongue the way you can with grapes.
This is a pretty good Saturday science project. You can explain
sublimation, you can talk about getting burns from cold as well
as from heat, and you can mess around with all the extra dry ice
while you're waiting for the carbonated grapes. Afterwards, you
can eat your results.
Wow, that's great! Thanks a lot, Mike. I've never even HEARD of
I am interested in the use of dry ice for marine refrigeration
applications on my small boat. I
would be grateful if you could provide any info on this.
My son has chosen to do an experiment with dry-ice. He wants to
liquids to it and write down the results. Any suggestions? He
know why these reactions occur. We've looked up dry-ice and
dioxide. what other information would explain these
results. What type of
liquids would you use? Please answer ASAP because the science
fair is next
week 2/9. By the way he loved the dry ice with the film case
Thanks, your a life saver! Debi
I just wanted to say I love the experiments on your site, they
exciting. I am in the Science Club at school. Every year we
Science Extravaganza were children from the grade school come
about science. I am heading a committee to do projects with Dry
Liquid Nitrogen and your experiments sound great. If you have
experiments that children from K-4 can do I would love to hear
Any Information you can give me would be great.
Be sure to do the one using film canisters and dry ice. Kids
Also- somewhere on the Web there should be a recipe for Ice
Cream made in
seconds using liquid nitrogen.
Oh! Here it is:
I was wondering if dry ice leaves any chemicals, or evidence
that it has been
there? I'm doing research for a mystery novel. thank you so much
for your time
This is the second time someone researching a mystery novel has
asked about dry
ice. I guess it is the murder weapon of choice these days.
The dry ice itself should not leave a residue, but:
It will condense, then freeze, moisture out of the air. After
the dry ice has
sublimed (evaporated), the water residue from this regular-ice
remain. It will eventually also evaporate, but may leave water
marks. If the dry
ice was on carpet, and not a bare floor, the water residue will
be harder to
There's also the CO2 itself. In a sealed room, the CO2 will have
nowhere to go.
Someone opening the room for the first time may notice a
shortness of breath in
themselves, or could pass out.
I was wondering if you could tell me how many carbon atoms are
in the formula
for dry ice. I need it for an extra credit assignment. Thanks
The formula CO2 gives it to you: One Carbon, and two Oxygen
DEAR MR. RICH,
MY 8 YR. OLD SON IS DOING A SCIENCE PROJECT
ON DRY ICE. HE IS PROBLEM QUESTION IS WHY IS DRY
ICE CALLED DRY ICE? I HAVE LOOKED EVERYWHERE AND
HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO FIND A THIRD GRADE TYPE OF
EXPERIMENT TO DO AND BRING TO SCHOOL PHYSICAL
EVIDENCE TO ANSWER HIS QUESTION AND COMPLETE
HIS PROJECT. HIS HYPOTHESIS IS THAT WHEN DRY ICE
LOOSES ITS PROPERTIES IT BECOMES CARBON DIOXIDE
GAS RATHER THAN A LIQUID, HE BELIEVES DUE TO THE
TEMPERATURE IS WHY THE ICE REMAINS DRY AND NOT
LIQUID. I WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR ASSISTANCE WITH
THIS PROJECT. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!
Every material has different properties that determine things
boiling point, freezing point, etc. Carbon dioxide has very weak
intermolecular (Van Der Waals) forces holding the molecules to
other. In a high pressure environment, liquid CO2 can exist. But
atmosphere it cannot.
Yes, dry ice is called that because it sublimates, or goes
a solid to a gas phase when it is warmed. It is warmed just by
around at room temperature.
Greetings fellow science enthusiast!
I was perusing your site for more earth experiments and I have a
one to add to your dry ice.
Coloring water makes it more flashy.
I perform science for kids and teach at the San Diego Natural
Museum. Glad I found your site. Will make use of it further.
Visit me at www.kryptonyvonne.com
- Place ice in vessel of hot water. (Boiling works best)
- Add a few drops of dish soap.
- Stand amazed.
- Scoop bubbles in hand and pop or blow on them.
Glad you liked the site. Come back any time.
Neat experiments for dry ice.
I have not tried the closed-bottle carbonation though the idea intrigues me.
Carbonated water is my prime beverage.
Why do I write this? Well, as a boy I recall my grandparents worked in the
MLM food distribution. One of the products they sold was a soda pop maker.
It came with a few plastic bottles (1 liters, I think) with enlarged
openings that took a special cap. This cap had a valve on it that you would
attach, via a hose, to a CO2 tank.
So?? I remember that cold water was best to use because it accepted the
carbonation more easily. You may want to try this experiment with ice cold
water. Sure it takes longer, but I bet it carbonates better and is less
likely to explode.
Years ago I added some dry ice (an ounce?) and water (15oz.?) to a glass
16oz. not-returnable Coke bottle, with the metal screw-on top. I took it
outside and sealed it. I expected the top to blow off. I was behind heavy
glass doors. It did not blow the top off. I got worried and put a plastic
trash can over it, in case the glass exploded. The next day, I got the
bottle, and carefully opened it. There was a slight hiss, and I figured the
pressure must have leaked away. Then I poured out the water. It fizzed. I
had carbonated it.
I have been told that soft drinks are pressurized with 150 PSI as they are
sealed, and then it dissolves, reducing the pressure.
I just asked someone involved in canned drinks. They said the drink is
already carbonated before they put it in. But non-carbonated drinks have
Nitrogen added for the strength of the can. The pressure is what makes the
can strong. Look at the amount of liquid contents on a can of juice: it will
say 11.5 OZ.
As for the amount of CO2 in soft drinks, if you open a very cold container,
and put a balloon on top, as the drink warms, the CO2 is released, and you
will see that the amount of gas is about the same as the amount of liquid.
The CO2 is just dissolved in it.
That's a good way to do it. Wait for the soft drink to go "flat", then measure the volume produced.
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Updated 13 May 2009