Dry Ice Applications Beyond Freezing: Exploring its Versatility in Various Industries

Anyone who has ever come in contact with dry ice — or solid CO2 — will be aware that it’s extremely cold. In fact, with a surface temperature of -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit, it is three times more effective at keeping goods cool than wet ice.

However, very few are aware that dry ice is also one of the most versatile substances in the world. It has many applications outside of freezing goods — making it invaluable to various industries—from automotive, to biotech and pharmaceuticals.

Here’s a small glimpse into the many uses of dry ice.

Applications of Dry Ice

Dry ice is known for its cold temperatures and ability to transition from solid to gas without leaving behind any liquid residue. These features ensure it finds its way into several industries. Let’s take a closer look at a few applications.

For Carrying Out Minor Surgeries

Apart from enabling the shipping and storage of crucial vaccines, dermatologists also use dry ice for a host of medical procedures. For example, it is used as an alternative to liquid nitrogen for minor surgeries, including removing moles and warts.

For Cleaning Electronic Equipment

Dry ice is also valuable across manufacturing industries, where it is used as a cleaning agent. Unlike wet ice, which melts into water, dry ice doesn’t conduct electricity. Thus, dry ice blasting is often used to clean electrically charged areas.

Here’s how it works: Dry ice is sprayed in small pellets onto an intended surface along with compressed air. The cold air shrinks dirt particles without leaving behind any moisture, making cleanup much easier and the process much safer.

For Containing Hazardous Materials

Dry ice’s cooling properties also allow it to stabilize volatile substances and reduce the risk of reactions or explosions when working with hazardous materials.

For example, during a chemical spill, dry ice can be used as a containment measure until a specialized team is deployed to address the situation. 

For Getting Rid of Dents 

Solid CO2 is also widely employed in the automotive industry, not only for its cleaning benefits but also as a fix for dents. To smooth out a depression, a mechanic may first heat the metal before dry ice is applied. This quick cooling ensures the dent snaps back. 

For Getting Rid of Bugs 

The pest control industry also uses dry ice, as it is a toxin-free way to get rid of bed bugs. Some research suggests mosquitoes are also attracted to the CO2 emitted by dry ice, so keeping a few blocks of the substance outside a home can help eliminate a mosquito infestation. 

Explore More with nexAir 

As you can see, dry ice does so much more than what it gets credit for.

In fact, along with its preservation and refrigeration capabilities, almost every industry in the world can find some use for the substance. 

We should know. Over the years, nexAir has become one of the leading suppliers of dry ice across the Southeast. Not only does our high-quality product help industries Forge Forward, but our KnowHow ensures that staff are trained to handle the volatile substance. Contact us today to learn how our dry ice can benefit you!

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