Dry ice -- How do the stores keep it from evaporating?

In summary, the conversation discusses how stores keep dry ice from sublimation and how it can be stored for longer periods of time. It is revealed that the coolers in stores run at a lower temperature, but the dry ice company has a more complex storage process due to the extreme cold and potential dangers of handling dry ice. The conversation also touches on the use of dry ice in freezers and the safety precautions that should be taken when handling it.
  • #1
LT72884
335
49
Ok, how do stores keep dry ice from sublimation(i think i spelled that correctly) or evaporating?

Are the coolers at my local walmart some sort of special type of mechanism?

thanks
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
They don't.
 
  • Like
Likes DaveE
  • #3
Bystander said:
They don't.
How do they keep it longer than i can at my house? a 5lb block is gone with in 30 hours, but yet, at the store, a 5 pound block has been in there for a while.
 
  • #4
The store runs its refrigerators at a lower temperature.
 
  • #5
Bystander said:
The store runs its refrigerators at a lower temperature.

so your saying the cooler that they store the dry ice in is a powered refrigerator, like a meat freezer? thus keeping it longer? So if i put in a deep freezer, with no other food, would that be ok then?
 
  • #6
The coolers I've seen locally (Southern californias) in the retails stores are just very heavily insulated boxes, no power or refrigeration used at all.

The plants that make the dry ice are a whole nother story! (they must have one heck of an electric bill!)
 
  • #8
Leading to this.
Dry ice sublimates at 194.65 K (−78.5 °C; −109.3 °F), at Earth atmospheric pressures. This extreme cold makes the solid dangerous to handle without protection due to burns caused by freezing (frostbite). While generally not very toxic, the outgassing from it can cause hypercapnia (abnormally elevated carbon dioxide levels in the blood) due to buildup in confined locations.
 
  • Like
Likes 256bits
  • #9
Bystander said:
Thats a good read. I have red it in the past. I was just curious how my walmart stores it and what type of machine they use. Next time I am there, ill take a peek at it
 
  • Like
Likes Klystron
  • #10
LT72884 said:
so your saying the cooler that they store the dry ice in is a powered refrigerator, like a meat freezer? thus keeping it longer? So if i put in a deep freezer, with no other food, would that be ok then?
It will keep your freezer nice and cold.
The freezer will just act as an insulated storage box, with the motor not coming on until just about all the dry ice has sublimated. That depends of course on how big a chunk you put in there. A certain amount of dry ice has to sublimate to counter the heat flow into the freezer.
 
  • Like
Likes Klystron and BillTre
  • #11
Klystron said:
Leading to this.
Well, you can handle it as the dry ice does not conduct heat very well. Just don't put it down someone's back as a stupid joke, or squeeze a chunk in your fist.
 
  • Like
Likes Klystron
  • #12
LT72884 said:
Thats a good read. I have red it in the past. I was just curious how my walmart stores it and what type of machine they use. Next time I am there, ill take a peek at it
I didn't know Walmart or any other retailer had dry ice for sale to the public. We usually has to buy the bags from the "dry ice company". My guess is that they buy it in bulk every week and just store it some out of the place area.
 

Related to Dry ice -- How do the stores keep it from evaporating?

1. How do stores keep dry ice from evaporating?

Stores keep dry ice from evaporating by storing it in insulated containers or using specialized freezers that maintain a temperature of -109.3°F (-78.5°C). This helps to slow down the sublimation process, in which dry ice transforms from a solid into a gas.

2. How long can dry ice be stored without evaporating?

Dry ice can be stored for up to 24 hours without evaporating if it is kept in an insulated container or specialized freezer. However, the exact amount of time can vary depending on factors such as the quantity of dry ice and the temperature of the storage environment.

3. Can dry ice evaporate at room temperature?

Yes, dry ice can evaporate at room temperature. This is because the sublimation process will occur at any temperature above -109.3°F (-78.5°C). However, the rate of evaporation will be faster at warmer temperatures.

4. How can I transport dry ice without it evaporating?

To transport dry ice without it evaporating, ensure that it is stored in an insulated container or specialized freezer. If possible, also try to limit the amount of time the dry ice is exposed to warmer temperatures during transport. It is also important to follow safety precautions, such as using gloves and handling the dry ice with care to avoid contact with skin.

5. What happens if dry ice is left out at room temperature?

If dry ice is left out at room temperature, it will eventually evaporate into carbon dioxide gas. This process is called sublimation and it occurs at a rate of about 5-10 pounds of dry ice per day at room temperature. It is important to handle dry ice with care and not leave it out for extended periods of time to avoid potential hazards.

Similar threads

Replies
11
Views
1K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
26
Views
2K
Replies
3
Views
765
  • Biology and Chemistry Homework Help
Replies
3
Views
1K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
17
Views
3K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
11
Views
1K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
2
Views
4K
Replies
18
Views
2K
  • General Engineering
Replies
18
Views
2K
Replies
9
Views
2K
Back
Top