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Everything you need to know about dry ice

You’ve probably heard of dry ice and its benefits. But what is it? Dry ice is carbon dioxide in a solid state, frozen at atmospheric pressure at a temperature of -78.5°C.

It gets its name because when it “melts” it goes directly into a gaseous state without any residual moisture.

Although recommended to be handled by professionals, it is very useful in many situations, especially for dry ice blasting. In this guide, we will explain:

  • The characteristics and properties of dry ice
  • The benefits of dry ice
  • The risks and dangers associated with dry ice

Characteristics and properties of dry ice


Dry ice is the frozen form of carbon dioxide. When heated, most frozen solids turn to liquid, whereas dry ice turns directly to gas.

In this process, dry ice does not generate liquid water or moisture. In fact, it tends to reduce the amount of moisture in the atmosphere. This gas is therefore very useful for the conservation of products sensitive to moisture.

Dry ice benefits


Dry ice is used extensively in many industries because of its properties.

Unsurpassed cooling capacity

Dry ice is capable of cooling 170% more than conventional ice at the same weight. This is very useful in cooking, since it can chill products at a higher speed. Since the density of dry ice is greater than 1.5 Kg/dm3 and that of water ice is equal to 0.95 Kg/dm3, it follows that for the same volume of ice used, dry ice has a cooling capacity equivalent to 170% more than conventional ice.

This is a particularly attractive feature in areas with limited space.

Antimicrobial properties

Dry ice not only has great cooling properties, as mentioned above, it also acts as a bacteriostatic and fungistatic agent. When it sublimates, it generates an atmosphere with such a high concentration of CO2 that it has an antimicrobial effect. It is therefore an excellent solution to slow down the development of bacteria, molds and yeasts and creates a completely disinfected environment.

Dry ice is able to displace oxygen in the atmosphere and inside containers, which helps to improve the purity of the areas where products are stored.

How is dry ice used?

Dry ice is presently used for various treatments and operations. This includes:

Industrial cleaning

When industrial cleaning companies use dry ice, particles of dry ice are propelled at high pressure to clean surfaces that have been weathered by water, such as certain electrical installations.

At Trexo, we offer this service to our customers, depending on their work environment and the condition of their equipment.

Keeping products as cold as possible in various industries

Medical and scientific research: Many medical institutions use dry ice to preserve organs for transplantation or research, as its high cooling capacity keeps them in good condition.

Restaurant industry: In fine dining, dry ice is used to create exotic dishes of the highest quality. Chefs all over the world use dry ice to create original presentations with misty effects, cold infusions, ice creams, mousses and creams that are extremely appetizing.

Agribusiness: In this sector, dry ice is used to cool dough in kneaders during the mincing and mixing of meat, the freezing of foodstuffs and temperature control. Dry ice is used in transport to ensure that the cold chain is maintained.

Large-scale distribution: Used when urgent repairs are needed in case of disconnection of some refrigeration equipment and to maintain the cold chain.

What are the dangers of using dry ice?


It is extremely important that people handling or using dry ice are trained and aware of the hazards and precautions to be taken, otherwise they may be exposed to one of the following three dangers:


Dry ice is cold enough to cause ice burns and frostbite damage to unprotected skin and eyes.


Dry ice turns to gas when exposed to air in cold environments, causing the oxygen level to drop. Under certain conditions, the oxygen level drops so low that it can cause a drop in blood oxygen levels. This has a variety of health effects, ranging from simple headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness and difficulty breathing, to loss of consciousness.


Pressure can build up to explosive levels inside unventilated airtight containers containing dry ice.

Need dry ice cleaning? Call Trexo Solutions

As you can see, the properties of dry ice are particularly useful for a number of reasons. Industrial cleaning companies such as Trexo make use of this popular solution.

Dry ice blasting is not our only expertise, we also use the best cleaning techniques and adapt them to the needs of our clients. If you need to have your facilities thoroughly cleaned, don’t hesitate to contact us.