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DRY ICE FOG Dry Ice when combined with hot tap water can produce vigorous bubbling water and voluminous flowing fog. For example, with 5 pounds of Dry Ice in 4 to 5 gallons of hot water, the greatest amount of fog will be produced the first 5 to 10 minutes. There will be far less fog for the next 5 to 10 minutes as the water cools down and the volume of Dry Ice diminishes. As the water cools, the fog becomes wispier. Dry Ice makes fog because of its cold temperature, -109.3°F or -78.5°C, immersed in hot water, creates a cloud of true water vapor fog. When the water gets colder than 50°F, the Dry Ice stops making fog, but continues to sublimate and bubble. The fog will last longer on a damp day than on a dry day.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION Dry Ice is frozen carbon dioxide, a normal part of our earth's atmosphere. It is the gas that we exhale during breathing and the gas that plants use in photosynthesis. It is also the same gas added to water to make soda water. Dry Ice is particularly useful for freezing, and keeping things frozen because of its very cold temperature: -109.3°F or -78.5°C. Dry Ice is widely used because it is simple to freeze and easy to handle using insulated gloves. Dry Ice changes directly from a solid to a gas -sublimating - in normal atmospheric conditions without going through a wet liquid stage.
DRY ICE MAKERS Dry Ice machines are available in all sizes and use liquid CO2. Hand held ones make soft Dry Ice that dissipates quicker. Large commercial machines use hydraulic presses to compress the Dry Ice snow with up to 60 Tons of pressure. It can produce a 55 pound block in under 60 seconds.
HOW TO MAKE FOG For each 15-minute period put 5 to 10 pounds of Dry Ice into 4 to 8 gallons of hot water. This will make lots of fog depending upon the temperature of the water and the size of the pieces of Dry Ice. Hotter water will make more fog. Very hot water will add its own rising steam to the vapor cloud. If there is no steam the fog will flow down hill and in the direction of any air movement. A small fan can help control the direction. Smaller pieces of Dry Ice with more surface area produce a greater volume of fog and cool the water down much faster. In both cases the result is more fog for a shorter amount of time. Keep the water hot with a hot plate, electric skillet, or some other heat source to produce fog for a longer time. Otherwise when the water gets too cold it must be replaced to continue the fog effects. If the container is completely filled with water the fog will flow over the sides the best. But the Dry Ice sublimation will vigorously bubble the water and splash it out. Even a ¾ filled container will splash some so place the container where spilled water will not ruin anything. The water vapor fog will also dampen the area it flows across. Be careful because after some time floors do get slippery.
HOW DRY ICE IS MADE The first step in making dry ice is to compress carbon dioxide gas until it liquefies, at the same time removing the excess heat. The C02 gas will liquefy at a pressure of approximately 870 pounds per square inch at room temperature. Next, the pressure is reduced over the liquid carbon dioxide by sending it through an expansion valve into an empty chamber. The liquid will flash, with some turning into gas causing the remainder to cool. As the temperature drops to -109.3°F, the temperature of frozen CO2, some of it will freeze into snow. This dry ice snow is then compressed together under a large press to form blocks or extruded into various sized pellets. Dry Ice is much heavier than traditional ice, weighing about double.
Dry Ice is particularly useful for freezing, and keeping things frozen because of its very cold temperature
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