The History of Dry Ice

Dry ice is one of the biggest unsung heroes of the modern economy. If you want to know what is dry ice, you’re going to need to know some cool science and history.  

Did you know you can use dry ice for cleaning, transporting consumer goods, and even in industrial settings? You can! 

Here’s a quick guide to the history of dry ice. 

What Is Dry Ice?

To understand what dry ice is, you’re going to need a little science! 

Dry ice is simply the solid form of the carbon dioxide gas. This is a gas that is found naturally in the atmosphere, but it doesn’t become solid until it gets incredibly cold. Carbon dioxide gas only freezes at -109 degrees Fahrenheit (-78 degrees Celsius). 

When you see a block of dry ice, all of that fog around the ice is evaporating carbon dioxide gas. 

Here’s a fun fact about dry ice. Dry ice actually does not melt. Its freezing point is so low that the average temperatures on the surface of the Earth cause it to skip melting and go directly into becoming a gas. 

Dry Ice Has an Interesting History 

Dry ice was first observed by French chemist Charles Thilorier in 1835. The legend goes that Thilorier was attempting to observe and study liquid carbon dioxide to find a better way to store this chemical. 

Thilorier stumbled into dry ice one day when using metal canisters to contain liquid carbon dioxide. 

It would be another 60 years before a dry ice would be used commercially. The early uses of dry ice were in industrial settings, but they had a sweet second life when they hit the commercial scene.

One of the earliest commercial uses for dry ice was in the United States. Dry ice was the solution that ice cream and frozen dessert manufacturers needed. Before the invention of dry ice, most customers had to eat their frozen deserts at the store, or the ice cream would melt before the consumers even made it home. 

Dry Ice for Cleaning 

Dry ice does more than just keep ice cream cool; you can also use dry ice for cleaning. 

One of the most compelling uses for dry ice is in industrial and commercial cleaning. Dry ice blasting involves using dry ice as a medium that is blasted on two surfaces to remove grime, rust, and other debris.

Dry ice blasting is a type of cleaning that is much more environmentally friendly than silicone bead blasting or glass bead blasting. This kind of cleaning leaves no residue behind, making the cleanup job much more effective. 

Contact Knauss Property Services Today

Whether you’re looking for a commercial and industrial building restoration contractor or you want to find out more about how dry ice can be used to clean dirt, grime, and other elements from your building, Knauss Property Services is the company you need to contact. 

Call Knauss Property Services today to restore your industrial or commercial building.