Dry ice, the more common name for solidified carbon dioxide, is extremely cold and valuable. Used for cleaning and keeping items below a certain temperature, several industries rely on the advantages of dry ice.
While wet ice can also keep items frozen, dry ice is particularly valuable because:
- It leaves no residue behind. Since carbon dioxide cannot exist in a liquid state, it sublimes rather than melts.
- Dry ice is colorless, odorless, and prevents the growth of bacteria, making it ideal for manufacturing applications.
- Because it doesn’t melt as wet ice does, it’s very effective at cleaning medical equipment and electrical equipment through a process known as dry ice blasting.
Let’s take a look at some industries that leverage the benefits of dry ice.
One of the most important steps in the food manufacturing process is ensuring that produce remains fresh. During lengthy shipping, dry ice can be used to keep food frozen, while doing away with risks of contamination that result in the growth of bacteria or the acquisition of an external color and/or smell.
At the same time, dry ice is particularly useful for cleaning machines and prepping food stations with dry ice blasting.
Minor dermatological surgeries often use liquid nitrogen to remove warts, moles, and other harmless growths. Recently, dry ice is being considered as a promising alternative.
But one of the most valuable uses of dry ice in this industry is the benefits it offers in transportation. When organs have to be transported to hospitals during life-or-death situations, they are often stored in coolers with dry ice to prevent the buildup of bacteria and contamination.
Biotech and Pharmaceuticals
From in-lab applications to DNA research, and genetic engineering, dry ice plays a vital role. It’s used in the preservation, storage, and shipment of biological samples. DNA samples, for instance, must be kept frozen in transit and are often refrigerated with dry ice temperatures of around -109 degrees Fahrenheit.
Meanwhile, during drug production, dry ice keeps labs clean and samples free of meltwater.
Automotive and Aerospace
Dry ice is also an extremely valuable material in the automotive and aerospace industries.
In aerospace, dry ice is used to clean electrically charged areas as it doesn’t conduct electricity — unlike wet ice which melts into water. This helps keep employees safe while allowing the thorough cleaning of aerospace equipment.
Dry ice blasting is also commonly used in the automotive industry to clean warehouse equipment as well as injection mold machines and the intricate parts of a car such as control gauges.
Despite its many benefits, it’s essential to note that dry ice can be a dangerous substance that must be handled with care. Touching dry ice without protective equipment can lead to severe frostbite while improper storage can reduce its efficacy, especially in scientific research environments.
Interested in using dry ice in your facility? Reach out to us and we can help you get started!
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