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Dry Ice Facts

Learn about Dry Ice or Solid Carbon Dioxide


These pellets of dry ice are sublimating in air.

These pellets of dry ice are sublimating in air.

Richard Wheeler
Dry ice is solid carbon dioxide. Here are some facts about dry ice that can help keep you safe when working with it, plus are just fun to know.

Dry Ice Facts

  • Dry ice is solid carbon dioxide.

  • Dry ice is extremely cold (-109.3°F or -78.5°C). At this temperature it sublimates from the solid state into the gaseous state or undergoes deposition from gas to solid.

  • The first published observation of dry ice was in 1835 by French chemist Charles Thilorier. He noted the formation of dry ice when a container of liquid carbon dioxide was opened.

  • Dry ice resemble snow or water ice.

  • Dry ice density usually ranges between 1.2 and 1.6 kg/dm3.

  • The molecular weight of dry ice is 44.01 g/mole.

  • The specific gravity of dry ice is 1.56 (water = 1).
Dry Ice Safety
  • Contact with dry ice can result in frostbite and cold burns. Avoid allowing contact between dry ice and the skin, eyes, or mouth.

  • Use insulated gloves when handling dry ice.

  • Although dry ice and carbon dioxide are not toxic, the use of dry ice may present a respiratory hazard because it can sink and displace air near the ground or when it mixes with the air, there is more carbon dioxide (less oxygen) in each breath. Use dry ice in a well-ventilated area.

  • Do not eat or swallow dry ice.

  • Do not seal dry ice in glass or other closed containers, since the pressure buildup may result in breakage or bursting.
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