Unless you’re in the world of industrial cleaning and/or manufacturing, you most likely associate dry ice with stage effects and over-the-top Halloween decorations.
Dry ice, while it can be used for those purposes, has a long list of other uses that can be handy in a variety of applications. Below is a short list of some various uses of dry ice.
Plants intake CO2 and release oxygen. So, placing small amounts of CO2 near a plant will actually increase its growth rate. If you put dry ice relatively close to the plant, and allow the dry ice to sublimate (become gas) for about 10 to 15 minutes per day, it can help give your plants a boost.
Dry ice can be used to keep asphalt at desired temperatures as it’s transported from the manufacturing facility to the job site. It can also be used to rapidly cool the asphalt once it’s set and core the paving quicker.
If your refrigerator or freezer stops working, especially if you’re in the restaurant or food industry, it can be a big problem. Every year one in six Americans become ill as a result of consuming contaminated foods or beverages, according to the CDC. So to keep food fresh and bacteria free if your cooling system stops working, you can use dry ice to keep items frozen or cooled.
Dry Ice Blasting
Dry ice blasting has become the fastest growing use for CO2 in the industry. It works similar to how hydroblasting or sandblasting does, except it presents an environmentally sustainable cleaning method because it creates no secondary waste. Dry ice blasting is primarily used in a variety of manufacturing industries to clean large equipment and machinery, offering employers a viable cleaning solution. The dry ice sublimates on contact and is considered a non-abrasive media, so machine surfaces are left with a factory finish and no scratches or markings after cleaning.
During radiation treatments, cancer patients will sometimes use cold caps that are supercooled using dry ice to help reduce or prevent hair loss.
There are many other uses for dry ice, which will be covered in the second part of this post.