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
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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3 to 5 lbs
Up to ½ an hour
3 to 5 lbs
Up to ½ an hour
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
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
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.
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
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.)
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.
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
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
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
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."
This injury came
from holding the bottle too long and shaking it! Luckily it missed both
HONDA'S GULL WING CAR
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
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
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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