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                            SCIENCE - SCHOOL PROJECTS

                            PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION
                            Dry Ice is frozen carbon dioxide, a normal part of our earth's atmosphere. It is the gas that we exhale during breathing and the gas that plants use in photosynthesis. It is also the same gas added to water to make soda water. Dry Ice is particularly useful for freezing, and keeping things frozen because of its very cold temperature: -109.3°F or -78.5°C. Dry Ice is widely used because it is simple to freeze and easy to handle using insulated gloves. Dry Ice changes directly from a solid to a gas -sublimating - in normal atmospheric conditions without going through a wet liquid stage. For more information on carbon dioxide see:

                            HOW DRY ICE IS MADE
                            The first step in making dry ice is to compress carbon dioxide gas until it liquefies, at the same time removing the excess heat. The C02 gas will liquefy at a pressure of approximately 870 pounds per square inch at room temperature. Next, the pressure is reduced over the liquid carbon dioxide by sending it through an expansion valve into an empty chamber. The liquid will flash, with some turning into gas causing the remainder to cool. As the temperature drops to -109.3░F, the temperature of frozen CO2, some of it will freeze into snow. This dry ice snow is then compressed together under a large press to form blocks or extruded into various sized pellets. Dry Ice is much heavier than traditional ice, weighing about double.

                            DRY ICE MAKERS
                            Dry Ice machines are available in all sizes and use liquid CO2. Hand held ones make soft Dry Ice that dissipates quicker. Large commercial machines use hydraulic presses to compress the Dry Ice snow with up to 60 Tons of pressure. It can produce a 55 pound block in under 60 seconds.


                            PHYSICAL PROPERTIES

                            Critical Density

                            28.9855 LB/FT³

                            Critical Pressure 1066.3 PSIA
                            Critical Temperature 87.8°F
                            Density Gas 0.1234 LB/FT³@32°F
                            Density Liquid 63.69 LB/FT³@0°F
                            Latent Heat of Vaporization 241 BTU/LB 0░F
                            Molecular Weight 44.004
                            Sublimation Temperature -109.3°F or -78.5°C
                            Solubility in H20 79FT³ CO2 GAS/FT³ ( when H2O is at 32°F )
                            Triple Point -69°F 75.1 PSIA
                            Viscosity Gas 0.015 Centipoises @32°F
                            Viscosity Liquid 0.14 Centipoises @0°F
                            Chemical Formula CO2
                            Chemical Family Inorganic
                            Sublimation A pound of Dry Ice will sublimate into 8.3 cubic feet of carbon dioxide gas.
                            DOT Shipping Class: ORM-A UN-1845 Pkg. Group III Class Nonflammable Gas UN2187

                            SCHOOL PROJECTS

                            Dry Ice can add the right touch to the typical school volcano. The "smoke" will come out the top and flow down the sides for several minutes. Inside the volcano must be a container to hold hot water. If hot water is not immediately available use a thermos to store it. The hotter the water is (nearly boiling if under adult supervision) the better. The bottom must be sealed tightly. Otherwise Dry Ice fog will leak out the bottom. Use putty or some other sealant. At the time of eruption, use gloves and put small pieces of Dry Ice into the hot water. The volcano will bubble and "smoke" for several minutes. Is it doubtful that cleaning services new york will be required but volcano projects can get pretty messy so plan for some clean up time.

                            CLOUD CHAMBER
                            An easy to make cloud chamber can be used to observe Alpha or Beta particles. Use a clear Pyrex or Corning shallow glass container that will not break in a freezer. Cover the bottom inside of the dish with black felt or black paper. Cut a piece of cardboard larger than the top of the dish. Pour alcohol on one side of the cardboard. Place the cardboard on the dish with the wet side down. Heat the top cardboard with your hand or something else warm such as an iron. Place the dish on a slab of Dry Ice. The alcohol will form a cloud. Shine a light through the side of the dish to observe vapor trails. Some natural vapor trails can be seen in time although you may have to put alcohol on the cardboard several times. Place an alpha ray source such as an old fashion illuminated watch dial or a Coleman lantern mantel inside to see more ion trails in the cloud chamber. Use a light source such as a bright flashlight to see the cloud tracks better.

                            BAKING SODA
                            Sodium hydrogen carbonate (NaHCO3), also called Sodium bicarbonate, bicarbonate of soda, and baking soda, is an important chemical. Hundred of thousands of tons are produced each year for use in baking and in producing other chemicals. One way to make this compound at home or in the school chemistry laboratory is to use Dry Ice, salt, ammonium carbonate, and vinegar.

                            You can make a miniature comet and watch as it sublimates--just like a real comet being heated by the Sun! Make sure you have adult supervision. The materials you will need are Dry Ice (solid carbon dioxide), a large bowl, a garbage bag, several smaller plastic bags, gloves, a hammer, water, sand, and a few drops of ammonia. Buy about 3 pounds of Dry Ice. Be very careful in handling Dry Ice, and always wear gloves. Solid carbon dioxide is much colder than ice, and if it touches your skin it will hurt as if you had been burned by fire. Use a plastic garbage bag to line a bowl big enough to hold a quart of water. Put two cups of water into the lined bowl. Add a couple spoonfuls of sand. Sprinkle in a few drops of ammonia and stir the mixture well. Wearing gloves, wrap the dry ice in several plastic bags. Use a hammer to pound the dry ice into small pieces. When the dry ice is crushed add about two cups of it while stirring your comet "soup". Keep stirring while the dry ice freezes the water. When the mixture is almost completely frozen, lift it up using the plastic liner of your bowl and shape the wrapped mixture into a ball. When the "comet" is frozen and can hold its shape on its own, unwrap it and set it somewhere you can watch it. The dry ice will sublimate into a gas. You may see jets of carbon dioxide shoot from your comet. After a while, your comet will shrink and become pitted, like a comet that has been eroded by the Sun. (Based on a Recipe by Dennis Schatz, Pacific Science Center, Seattle, WA.)

                            Another COMET project developed by UC Berkeley is called "Make a Comet in the Classroom"

                            "DRY ICE INVESTIGATIONS" **    A Teachers Guide

                            "This unit revolves around the intriguing nature of dry ice and the incessant curiosity it provokes in all those who have the opportunity to interact with it. Whenever science (especially chemistry) is depicted on film or television, you can almost guarantee that you'll see dry ice bubbling away in a colorful liquid. Music videos, scary movies, theatrical plays, and Halloween frequently feature its eerie heavy fog slowly and silently creeping across a surface. Although it is perhaps the ultimate symbol of "fun science," students rarely have the opportunity to explore it themselves in science class, most likely because many teachers often don't know where to get it, don't know what to do with it, and are intimidated by safety issues. This guide hopes to deal thoroughly with all these issues, and to build on the wondrous appeal of dry ice to provide a highly memorable and powerful science learning experience."

                            **One of the best science books for grades 6-8 is called "Dry Ice Investigations" from LHS Gems, UC Berkeley, (ISBN: 0-924886-15-3) available through and other suppliers.

                            OTHER SITES FOR COOL PROJECTS

                            Brian Rich's "The Saturday Scientist" has lots of fun projects including a singing spoon and popping film cans.

                            Jane Hoffman's Backyard Scientist series is recognized by the National Science Foundation as a unique teaching resource. Her books and kits include dry ice and are used by home, private and public schools as a curriculum resource. All The Backyard Scientist books have received the Award of Merit from "Curriculum Product News" magazine (now Curriculum Administrator).
                            The Backyard Science Fun.

                            Abdul wahab Malik is a writer of science topics and has  a website which is about teaching kids about science with interesting articles on Animals, Chemistry, Physics, Plants, Earth Science, and many more along with Easy-To-Do Experiments. His motive is to provide science education free of cost and free of ads to enhance the interest of everyone.


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                            Last Revised: 05/24/17






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