So I work at a famous ice cream place right here in town and everyday we pack customers ice-cream into the cooler they brought, or the insulated bags we have. One of the questions the customers always ask us is “how does the ice-cream stay frozen for long periods of travel without it getting all soft and soup looking?”. The answer to that is very simple…Dry Ice. We keep all the half/3 gallons, dixies, pints, quarts and cookie sandwiches cold for long periods of travel with dry ice.
Dry Ice is much more effective to use than regular ice. When using regular ice, it melts much faster because the temperature starts to rise and when this happens, the particles start bouncing around like crazy. After all the craziness is done the ice finally turns into a liquid. Dry ice which is a solid brick of ice made from carbon dioxide that’s -109 degrees Fahrenheit, melts at slower pace. This happens because of sublimation which is the transition from a solid to a gas with the liquid stage not involved whatsoever. For how long it takes it usually depends on how many hours customers are traveling, the size of the dry ice, and if the container will fit all the items plus the ice. For example we’ll ask a customer how many hours they are traveling, and they’ll say about three. So we get a block of dry ice and put it on the scale, until it gets as close to three as possible. It’ll last about that many hours.
In order to create the huge blocks of dry ice, it has to go through this long process. First the carbon dioxide has to turn into a liquid and to make that happen you need to cool and compress it. According to continental carbonic ” the liquid carbon dioxide is injected into either a block press or pelletizer.” This creates the huge chunks of block and the small pellets that we store in bins at my work.
Before the customers leave, we always have to ask them if they’ve used dry ice before. If the answer is not, then I’ll go over the procedures of what to with the dry ice if there is some left when they get home to their destination. This includes:
- when taking the ice-cream out of the cooler use gloves like wool- they protect your skin from getting a burn.
- Don’t put the dry ice down your sink- it will damage the pipes
- Throw the dry ice in your yard or keep it in the bag to disinigrate -if kept in bag make sure that its somewhere where no kids or animals can reach.