Fog


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"SPECIAL EFFECTS"

DRY ICE FOG
Dry Ice when combined with hot tap water can produce vigorous bubbling water and voluminous flowing fog. For example, with 5 pounds of Dry Ice in 4 to 5 gallons of hot water, the greatest amount of fog will be produced the first 5 to 10 minutes. There will be far less fog for the next 5 to 10 minutes as the water cools down and the volume of Dry Ice diminishes. As the water cools, the fog becomes wispier. Dry Ice makes fog because of its cold temperature, -109.3°F or -78.5°C, immersed in hot water, creates a cloud of true water vapor fog. When the water gets colder than 50°F, the Dry Ice stops making fog, but continues to sublimate and bubble. The fog will last longer on a damp day than on a dry day.

HOW TO MAKE FOG
For each 15-minute period put 5 to 10 pounds of Dry Ice into 4 to 8 gallons of hot water. This will make lots of fog depending upon the temperature of the water and the size of the pieces of Dry Ice. Hotter water will make more fog. Very hot water will add its own rising steam to the vapor cloud. If there is no steam the fog will flow down hill and in the direction of any air movement. A small fan can help control the direction. Smaller pieces of Dry Ice with more surface area produce a greater volume of fog and cool the water down much faster. In both cases the result is more fog for a shorter amount of time. Keep the water hot with a hot plate, electric skillet, or some other heat source to produce fog for a longer time. Otherwise when the water gets too cold it must be replaced to continue the fog effects. If the container is completely filled with water the fog will flow over the sides the best. But the Dry Ice sublimation will vigorously bubble the water and splash it out. Even a ¾ filled container will splash some so place the container where spilled water will not ruin anything. The water vapor fog will also dampen the area it flows across. Be careful because after some time floors do get slippery.

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Application Amount Duration
Witches Punch 3 to 5 lbs Up to ½ an hour
Pumpkins 3 to 5 lbs Up to ½ an hour
Witches Pot 5 to 15 lbs Up to an ¾ hour
Small Room (Use 2 Pots) 15 to 30 lbs Up to an hour
Large Room (Use 3-4 Pots) 50 lb package Up to an hour
Swimming Pool (unheated) 50 lb package 1 to 2 hours
Patio (No Wind) 50 to 100 lbs 1 to 2 hours

HOW TO TRANSPORT AND STORE DRY ICE UNTIL READY TO USE
The best container to transport and store Dry Ice is an ice chest. It will still sublimate 5 to 10 pounds each 24 hours, so plan to pick up the Dry Ice as close as possible to the time it will be used. Dry Ice is very cold so use insulated gloves to handle it. Do not store Dry Ice in your refrigerator freezer. The extremely cold temperature will cause your thermostat to turn off your freezer. (But it will keep things frozen if your refrigerator breaks down in an emergency.) Do not store Dry Ice in a completely airtight container. The sublimation of Dry Ice to Carbon Dioxide gas will cause any airtight container to expand until a hole opens or it explodes.

POOL & JACUZZI
50 to 100 pounds of Dry Ice dropped directly into a heated swimming pool will make fog for an hour or longer depending on the water temperature and the size of the Dry Ice pieces. Because of the Jacuzzi's hot water, it makes the most fog the quickest. As long as the water is kept hot, it can take 50 to 100 pounds per hour. The Dry Ice will carbonate the water for several days. If possible drain the Jacuzzi. The swimming pool will read more alkaline during this time so wait to add acid until the carbonation has dissipated. If the temperature of the water in a swimming pool, fountain, waterfall, or birdbath is too cold (less than 60°F) the Dry Ice will bubble but produce much less fog.

ADD DRY ICE TO BEVERAGES
It is OK to put Dry Ice into beverages for drinking as long as the dry ice is food grade.  Use 2 to 4 pounds of Dry Ice for each gallon of room temperature punch. Use large pieces of Dry Ice not small pieces. The Dry Ice is heavier than ice and will sink to the bottom. Do not use any regular ice! The Dry Ice will do the cooling and must not be eaten or swallowed. Too much Dry Ice will freeze the beverage so have extra standing by. It will bubble and give off the most fog when the beverage is room temperature. When most of the Dry Ice has sublimated, it will surround itself with ice and float to the top. There is still a small piece of Dry Ice in the center of these ice pieces so do not serve or eat them. Carefully ladle the beverage into drinking glasses without any Dry Ice. Add regular ice to glasses for cooler drinks.

WITCHES BREW
A first grade teacher gave me the best recipe for "witches brew": 1 can Grape Juice. (Dark color) 1 can Pineapple Juice. (Strange pulpy texture) 3-5 pounds of food grade Dry Ice. (Do not use regular ice) Mix room temperature juices together. When ready for special brew add the Dry Ice. Do not touch Dry Ice directly, but use insulated gloves or tongs. Ladle juice into cups without any Dry Ice and it will be perfectly safe. If you want cooler drinks add ice to the cups not the punch bowl.

 **(Food grade means the CO2 used to make the dry ice is the same quality CO2 as used for soda fountains and also the dry ice can be used to transport food and produce.)

STAGE PRODUCTIONS
Using a fog machine or buckets of hot water and a fan, many shows are enhanced by adding flowing fog. I have seen it most often in the dance of the snowflake fairies in the Nutcracker Suite, and it is frequently used in Brigadoon and Oklahoma for their dream scenes.

FOG MACHINES
A theater fog machine is generally a 30 to 55-gallon metal or plastic water barrel with a 110-volt or a 220-volt hot water heater to keep the water hot. Dry Ice is placed in a bucket with holes to allow hot water to enter. When the bucket is lowered into the hot water fog is instantly produced. The resulting water vapor fog is gently blown by a fan and directed to the desired area by an air duct tube. Fog stops whenever the bucket of Dry Ice is pulled out of the water. More recent fog machines pump heated water over a trey holding the Dry Ice. All have a GFCI breaker for safety.

GARBAGE DISPOSAL VOLCANO
A fantastic simulated volcano can be made in a sink with a garbage disposal. Run hot water and put small one to two pound pieces of Dry Ice into your garbage disposal one at a time. When you turn the disposal on it will make a marvelous eruption. Be sure to wear goggles as the hot water and ejected Dry Ice could be dangerous. Also check out Volcano in our "Science/ School Projects" section.

DANGER: If you put too much Dry Ice into the sink at one time it could burst the pipes. That happens when the heavy Dry Ice sinks to the bottom of the pipes or goes past the u shape trap and when it sublimates back into its gas form the pressure could easily break the pipes. Only feed small amounts of Dry Ice at a time being sure to run enough hot water to quickly turn it all into its gas form.

DRY ICE "FIRECRACKERS"
Small pieces of Dry Ice placed in an empty one liter plastic soda bottle and then filled ¼ to ½ with hot water may explode 2 to 120 seconds after the top is tightly screwed on. It also may crack anywhere and just fizzle. Wear gloves and eye protection because the resulting explosion may dangerously push out pieces of the plastic bottle or the bottle top. A woman in Houston standing too close lost her eye from the ejected bottle top, so make sure no one is holding the bottle nor anyone is near it when it explodes. Although the explosion sprays mostly carbon dioxide gas and water, many municipalities classify them with more dangerous firecrackers and outlaw them. Southern Utah's "Spectrum", reports: "It's a felony to drop a dry-ice bomb in Utah." Sometimes these dry ice bombs are called "terrorist devices" and people using them are arrested. In our area several teenagers were jailed for three days for setting off these Dry Ice firecrackers. The logical defense explains there is no chemical reaction - only a change in the state of matter - from a solid to a gas. Unfortunately there may be a high cost in lawyers fees to persuade a DA or judge of this fact. Therefore DO NOT DO THIS IF IT IS ILLEGAL IN YOUR COMMUNITY! For safety DO NOT EVER ALLOW CHILDREN TO DO THIS. Always supervise children around Dry Ice. Of course using anything other than plastic bottles is even more dangerous and by no means should ever be permitted!

As Luke Writes August 11, 2004: "To everyone who thinks those dry ice firecrackers or what we call Dry Ice Bombs are fun, think again.  Me and two other friends got arrested for doing it so look at your city's laws before doing it.  I did not get the idea from this website if you are wondering."


Dry Ice Bomb Injury   

     This injury came from holding the bottle too long and shaking it! Luckily it missed both eyes!

 

STORIES

HONDA'S GULL WING CAR
Honda put on a spectacular introduction of a concept car for their Southern California car dealers. I created a wall of fog with four fog machines by placing two hoses three feet and two six feet above the ground five feet apart. The fog was so thick no one could see through it. A Newport Beach motorcycle policeman with lights flashing and siren blaring slowly drove through the wall of fog emerging in front of the dealers stand. The custom car came through next and stopped. The gull wing doors opened and a James Bond look-a-like in a full tux emerged from the car. An impeccably dressed cocktail waitress walked up and served him a martini. The applause and thanks afterward showed how much everyone was impressed.

I STORED DRY ICE FOR ONE YEAR!
One customer told us how sure she was that the paper bag full of left over Dry Ice from last year's Halloween would be available this year because she had never opened the bag for the whole year. Unfortunately there was no dry ice left - empty inside - but there was plenty of hardened frost around the outside of the bag frozen solid in the shape of a brick.

BAR MITZVAH
I placed two fog machines at each corner of a wooden dance floor. When they were turned on the floor was filled with fog. The kids came in and sashayed around for ten minutes until the fog machines were turned off. They were completely delighted. Later for several special dances the fog machines were turned on again filling the dance floor with fog.

SHIP ON STAGE
Laguna Playhouse, Laguna Beach, California; built a large 15-foot long ship for the final scene of a play. It was rolled out on stage with four actors on it. A mechanical devise rocked this ship back and forth. When the stage was filled with fog the curtains opened; it really looked like the ship was in the water gently rocking back and forth. The fog flowed around the ship and poured off the stage into the audience.

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