How is Dry Ice Made?

Dry Ice Production Process

Image of dry ice production - dry ice pellets being manufactured.Dry ice is made by pressurising and cooling high purity carbon dioxide gas into a liquid form. The liquid CO2 is injected into a hydraulic press chamber where the atmospheric pressure converts it to a snow-like consistency. The CO2 snow is then compressed into solid blocks or pellets.

Any CO2 liquid that does not transform into snow is recovered in a CO2 gas form and recycled into the production process. The density of the compressed CO2 snow depends on the applied pressure and the pressure time. The density of a compressed block can reach 1.56g/cm3 as a maximum at a temperature of -78.64°C.

Once compressed into a solid state, Dry Ice will slowly revert to its original gas form. This gives the appearance of a steam or a fog emanating from it. CO2 gas has a greater density than air meaning that it will concentrate on the ground. Exercise caution when storing Dry Ice in small enclosed spaces. The level of CO2 in the air can gradually build up and exceed safe levels. Learn more about safe storage and handling.