What is dry ice?
What is commonly known as Dry Ice is carbon dioxide (CO2) in solid state. In atmospheric temperature it can reach temperatures of -78.5 oC. It’s usually obtained for gas generated as a by-product for other industrial processes, such as: combustion plants or fermentation reactions.
The CO2 turns from solid to vapor without generating any liquid, water or humidity, this process is what gives dry ice its characteristics, this process is called sublimation. In fact, it reduces the degree of humidity when the change of state is occuring, this is due to the dry gas properties of carbon dioxide. Thanks to this peculiarity it makes dry ice ideal to store products sensitive to humidity.
1 frigorie = 4 BTU
What are its properties?
Dry ice turns from solid to gas without leaving any residue, this is called sublimation. Each kilogram of dry ice generates 136 frigories when sublimation occurs. Due to the low temperatures of -78.5 o when gas is generated it can create up to 14 to 16 frigories more, which sum up to 152 frigories (608 BTU) per kilogram of dry ice.
What other unique effects does it have?
Dry ice is considered a bacteriostatic and fungistatic agent. After its sublimation, an atmosphere saturated with CO2 gas is generated that exerts an antimicrobial action; the development of bacteria, molds and yeasts is slowed down, thus contributing to a superior quality of conservation of food and perishable products in general. CO2 gas produces a protective inert atmosphere, that displaces oxygen from inside packages and shipping containers, which contributes to improve the microbiological quality, prevent oxidation and maintain optimum conditions of preserving perishable obtained.