The most frequently asked questions about dry ice.
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What is dry ice?
Dry ice is the common name for solid carbon dioxide (CO2). It is so-called because it does not melt into a liquid; instead, it changes directly into a gas (this process is known as sublimation). How cold is dry ice? Dry Ice has a temperature of -78ºC. At this temperature it can cause severe skin damage or frostbite, so it’s essential to wear insulated gloves when handling dry ice.
How is is dry ice made?
Our dry ice is made through a 3-step process:
- First, we compress and cool CO2 gas under high pressure to produce liquid CO2.
- The liquid is then allowed to expand under a reduced pressure to produce CO2 snow.
- This snow is then compressed by a hydraulic press into dry ice.
How long does dry ice last?
Dry ice has a limited shelf life. Once it has been compressed into a solid form, the dry ice slowly begins to revert to its original gas form. For this reason, smaller quantities like 10kg should be used within 48 hours of delivery/collection. Smaller amounts of dry ice should ideally be used the same day.
What if I only need a small amount?
No problem; the minimum amount for an order is 3.5kg of dry ice pellets. Note that small quantities like this should be used the same day that they are delivered/collected. Our other dry ice products (blocks, slices, and drice) are all sold in units of 10kg.
What type of dry ice do I need?
Dry ice comes in three forms: blocks, slices and pellets. Each form is suitable for specific needs.
Blocks: Suitable for freeze branding, industrial usage, shipping, and certain dry ice smoke machines. As a 10kg dry ice block is one solid piece (and therefore has less surface area than 10kg of dry ice pellets or slices), it will last longer than the same weight of slices or pellets. This makes blocks ideal for long-lasting shipping or storage.
Slices: Ideal for the storage and/or transportation of perishable goods such as food or medical supplies. Each slice is individually foil-wrapped for ease of use and to help reduce sublimation levels.
Pellets (9mm diameter): Ideal for smaller-scale needs. University and hospital laboratories often use dry ice pellets in experiments, small scale storage, and for delivery purposes. Dry ice pellets are ideal to make fog effects for theatrical and entertainment purposes. Commercial businesses often use dry ice pellets for small-scale or one off storage or delivery purposes.
Drice (3mm diameter pellets): Specially designed for use in clean-blasting – not for domestic use.
Do Polar Ice deliver?
Yes, we deliver to businesses and homes across Ireland. Orders are delivered either by our own Polar Ice drivers or with DPD couriers. Nationwide next-day delivery (Tuesday – Friday). Same day delivery (Dublin area). 24-hour emergency-only delivery service (any day). Saturday delivery on request (incurs additional delivery cost). Timed delivery service (can request specific time).
How much does dry ice cost?
Prices start from €34.50 inc VAT for 3.5kg of dry ice pellets, and all prices are shown in the online store. Delivery is free of charge on online orders over €100.
How quickly can I get my dry ice?
If you place your order before 1pm, we can have your order ready for next working-day delivery or collection. The cut-off point for orders is 1pm.
Can I collect dry ice in person?
Yes, you can collect your order from any one of our four collection points, located in Armagh, Dublin, Laois and Cork. Alternatively, you can have your dry ice delivered to any of the DPD depots in Ireland and Northern Ireland. However, sending dry ice to a DPD Depot for collection carries a delivery charge.
What precautions should I take when using dry ice?
- Do not use dry ice in a poorly ventilated area.
- Do not inhale the CO2 gas.
- Do not touch dry ice with bare skin.
- Do not ingest/consume dry ice.
- Do not store in an airtight container.
- Do not leave dry ice unattended around children or animals.
How can I help my dry ice last longer?
10kgs of dry ice stored in the Polar ice carton will last a maximum of 72 hours from the time you receive it. However, for best results, you should use the dry ice within 48 hours of receiving it.
The more dry ice you have stored in the container, the longer it will last. This means it’s important to have the dry ice delivery as close as possible to the time you plan to use it.
Refrain from opening and closing the insulated container as much as possible. When you remove dry ice from the storage container fill the empty space with wadded newspaper or styrofoam sheets. Any “dead-air-space” will cause the dry ice to sublimate faster.
How should I store dry ice?
We have various dry ice storage containers. These containers are highly insulated, protecting the dry ice from ambient temperature and reducing sublimation to as low as 2% in a 24 hour period. These containers are most suitable for storing quantities in excess of 100kg.
We also have packaging suitable to store smaller quantities (e.g. 10kg) of dry ice. These containers are the most practical solution for storing small quantities and will reduce sublimation rates to less than 30% a day.
Note: It is very important that you do not store dry ice in your refrigerator freezer. The extremely low temperature could cause the thermostat to turn off the freezer or damage the element.
How should I dispose of dry ice?
When finished with your dry ice, unwrap it and leave it at room temperature in a well-ventilated area. It will sublimate from a solid to a gas. Due to the CO2 released by the sublimation process, ensure that the dry ice is kept clear of people and animals.