Dry ice is solidified carbon dioxide and is very cold. It has many uses, although it is mainly used to cool various objects. One of the advantages of dry ice is that it does not spill liquid, because it sublimates, that is, it turns into gas at 42 ° C (109 ° F). Dry ice can be very dangerous and can cause severe frostbite and burns, so knowing how to store it properly is extremely important.
Part 1 of 2: Storing dry ice
Step 1. Buy dry ice close to where you are going to use it
While you can slow down the sublimation process, you can't help it. So buy dry ice as close to where you are going to use it. You will lose 5 to 10 pounds of dry ice in a day, even when stored properly.
Step 2. Put on gloves with thermal insulation to protect your arms
Dry ice can burn your skin due to the extreme temperature. Thermally insulated gloves protect hands from freezing when handling dry ice. You should handle it as little as possible. Also, putting on long sleeves can protect your arms while using dry ice.
Step 3. Keep the dry ice in a well insulated container
A chunky Styrofoam cooler is enough to keep ice dry for an extended period of time. You can use a standard cooler like the one used to serve cold drinks.
Step 4. Add crumpled paper to the container
Fill the rest of the container with crumpled paper. This process will help you slow down the sublimation, because it will reduce the dead space in the container.
Step 5. Keep the container closed as long as possible
The more you open the container, the more warm air will get in. Warm air increases the sublimation process, meaning dry ice will melt more quickly.
Step 6. Put the cooler in a cold area
If it's cold outside, put it outside. If it's hot, put the fridge in a cool place indoors. Basically, the idea is that the outside temperature of the refrigerator is as cold as possible, since this reduces the speed of sublimation of the ice.
Step 7. Pay attention to burns
If you have a minor, reddened burn, the burn will heal on its own. However, if the dry ice leaves your skin blistered or starts to peel, you will need to see a doctor.
Part 2 of 2: Avoid Hazards
Step 1. Keep the ice in a ventilated area
Since dry ice emits carbon dioxide, it can be dangerous to humans in an enclosed area. Make sure there is plenty of fresh air in the room where the ice is stored. Otherwise, it can cause suffocation in humans and animals.
Remember that a closed car is a non-ventilated area, especially if the air conditioning is not on. Don't leave dry ice in a closed, parked car. When transporting it, open the windows or make sure to turn on the air conditioner to circulate fresh air. Also, put it away from you when you are driving
Step 2. Don't use an airtight container
Dry ice sublimates, it does not melt, that is, it emits carbon dioxide. Since carbon dioxide changes to a gas, it needs room to escape. If you put it in an airtight container, the gas will not be able to escape. In extreme cases, the gas can expand too much, causing an explosion.
Step 3. Don't put it in the freezer
The freezer is airtight, so it can cause dry ice to explode. Also, if you try to put dry ice in a conventional freezer or refrigerator, you could destroy the system, since thermostats are not made to handle these types of temperatures.
Step 4. Put on goggles and a safety mask to break the ice
If you plan to break a block of dry ice, you should wear goggles and a safety mask to protect your eyes. Otherwise, chunks of ice can get into your eyes and cause burns.
Step 5. Stay out of low areas
Carbon dioxide tends to travel to the lower areas of a room, as it is heavier than the air we breathe. Therefore, it is concentrated in the low areas. Don't intentionally put your head there.
Step 6. Be careful which surfaces you put the dry ice on
Dry ice can damage many surfaces due to its extreme temperatures. For example, you can break tiles or other countertops if you put it on top.
Step 7. Dispose of dry ice properly
The best way to dispose of unused dry ice is to leave it to the sublimation process. Make sure the area is well ventilated while the dry ice continues to disappear.