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Full Version: What Happens If You Drop 1,000 Pounds of Dry Ice in a Giant Pool?
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Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide. It is special because it doesn't melt. Dry ice at atmospheric pressure goes straight from solid for to gas form. This is called sublimation. If you put dry ice in water, the carbon dioxide will turn to gas and then bubble out. The carbon dioxide gas itself is toxic if you breathe it in high concentrations () and of course it is also very cold.  Dry ice should be handled with gloves or tongs so as not to cause frostbite. 

Adding dry ice to drinks is fine so long as

1. You use only 'food grade'  dry ice, free of various contaminants in industrial grade material.

2.You are very careful not to ingest any of the frozen dry ice.

  gives some suggestions for use with, for example, large bowls of punch. The dry ice will make the punch give off a heavy fog (the cold carbon dioxide bubbles out of the punch, condenses water vapor, and sinks to the floor). This can be quite a lot of fun at Halloween parties, as your fruit punch can look like a seething witches' brew. 

You should use 2-4 pounds of dry ice per gallon of liquid at room temperature. Use large chunks of dry ice instead of small ones. Dry ice is heavier than water, so it will sink to the bottom. This is a very important part, when the dry ice is almost gone, a layer of water will freeze around it. This chunk will float to the top. Inside the regular ice is still a piece of dry ice. This must be removed. NEVER ingest dry ice, even when it is coated with regular ice. This can cause frostbite inside your stomach! When ladling punch out of the punch bowl, do not include any dry ice, or even ordinary ice as it may have a piece of dry ice inside. Ordinary ice can be added later. 

So if you have a cooler of regular ice and dry ice, most likely there is some dry ice embedded in the regular ice, and it is best not to eat the ice. Once it has all melted, there is no problem with the water -- it really is just plain, ordinary water, and the carbon dioxide goes into the air.

“Dry ice” is actually solidified carbon dioxide (CO?). Carbon dioxide is normally a gas at room temperature and pressure. When it is put under high pressure at low temperature, however, it solidifies into what is commonly called “dry ice.” When the dry ice is brought to atmospheric pressure, it remains solid and very cold (-109 °F).

Dry ice is called “dry” because it never enters a liquid state as it melts, unlike ice, which melts into liquid water. Dry ice transforms directly to gaseous carbon dioxide. Scientists refer to this process as “sublimation.”

The water does not play a critical role in this process other than containing a substantial amount of heat that is transferred to the dry ice to sublimate it. Many other liquids could be used in place of water, but water is particularly good at retaining heat (in scientific terms, water has a high specific heat capacity).