What is dry ice?

Most of you know what ice is, but do you know there is something called dry ice?

                               Vaporized dry ice

          The ice that we generally see around us is the ice that is made by freezing the water. When water is cooled to 0 degree centigrade, it turns into ice. There is, however, another kind of ice, known as dry ice.

          When carbon dioxide is solidified, it becomes dry ice. Carbon dioxide turns directly from a gas into a solid at a temperature of about 80 degree centigrade under very high pressure. You may be able to hold a block of ordinary ice but you cannot hold dry ice as it is very, very cold and if held in the hand, it causes frostbite. It looks rather like snow but can be made into blocks by compressing the flakes.

          Dry ice is used for cooling or refrigerating foods such as ice creams, meat and medicines. It is also used to simulate fog and steam effects in films or stage plays because it rapidly turns back to gas at ordinary temperature without becoming liquid. This effect of going directly from solid to gaseous stage, or vice versa, by passing the liquid state, is known as sublimation.


Children’s Knowledge Bank

By Dr.C.L.Garg

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