Instructables

How to Make Dry Ice - With a Fire Extinguisher!

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Here's how to make dry-ice at home, or wherever you feel like it!  All you need is a pillow case, and a CO2 fire extinguisher.

Find more projects like this at: www.thekingofrandom.com

This project was inspired by: Theo Gray (Mad Science) http://youtu.be/gyLwYin6pRo

 
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Step 1: Watch the Video!



WARNING: Dry Ice is extremely cold! (-78C/-109F) and can cause instant frost-bite to exposed skin.  This project should not be attempted without adult supervision and adequate training. Misuse, or careless use, of tools or projects may result in serious injury.  Use of this video content is at your own risk.
delonzo1 year ago
I think it will work for fireworks
paqrat1 year ago
I think dry ice might be used to eliminate ant nests. I think by placing a chunk of dry ice on the ant mound then covering with something like a garbage bag then weighting the sides of the bag well the carbon dioxide would work its way into the nest, displacing the oxyygen as it sank to the bottom most part of the nest. Because it doesn't poison, so much as axphysiates the ants, it would be completely safe. The soldier ants,, by attacking the chunk would die simply by coming into contact with the cold chunk of co2. I haven't had the opportunity to try this but I think it would work.
The King of Random (author)  paqrat1 year ago
Wow, what a great suggestion! I think you're right!! Thanks for sharing such a great project idea! :)
I think it might also work to rid one's carpet of a flea infestation. I'm a bit hesitant to use the sprays. Seems like if it dissapated enough oxygen it might kill the eggs too. Wouldn't want to lay it on too thick though if you had small pets or rugrats.
Try Diatomaceous Earth (food grade) instead. It works as a non-toxic pesticide and is so safe that many people take it as a supplement in water. It is great for killing internal parasites without making you sick to get rid of them. External Usage: it has microscopic edges that scratch up the bodies of the insects. When this happens they dry out internally and die. Just poof the dust around the areas where you have crawlies and take off for half an hour while it settles. Then leave it for a few days. In out of the way areas like besides and behind the refrigerator leave it indefinitely. Dead bug. No poison to make any person or pet in your home sick. . It’s perfectly safe but don’t breathe it. Sneeze city (it is a powder after all). It is already in use in the food industry in bulk storage facilities.

Just so you know, D.E. is a fossilized form of a single cell algae, so completely natural. Try sprinkling it on an ant hill and leaving it. You can also rub it into your pets fur. Put it in a sock and rub away. Then comb them and reapply every so often.
Did you know if you blow bubbles over dry ice, the bubbles will float over top and change color?
I didn't know that. I wish I had tried it :)
Maybe next time, I have never seen or tried it either, but it's worth trying. Nice ible, by the way
Thanks!
Beergnome1 year ago
neat instructable!
being a brewer by trade, I have ready access to Compressed CO2, fabricating some sort of expansion device could make this interesting, if anything, just for giggles and stupid brewer tricks ! :D

But, a CO2 canister equiped with a fire nozzle should be readily refillable at any commercial, or industrial gas/ welding supply shop. could be something interesting for if one wants or needs dry ice there and now and on demand.

as others have stated in the comments, dry ice is usually available through various grocery stores for $1 a pound.. I get mine at all the krogers around town. I usually get some when I'm playing around with cloudchambers to observe radioactive and cosmic particles.

because why not? :D

BUT!.. every year at Halloween, the brewery I work for turns the place into a haunted house for the night, and this might be a way to negate the Dry Ice bill for the event.
The King of Random (author)  Beergnome1 year ago
I discharged a full 15lb tank and got 5 lbs dry ice. It seems to be a 3:1 ratio liquid CO2 to Dry Ice. I'm sure there are more efficient ways to get more, but that's what I got with the pillowcase method.
The King of Random (author)  Beergnome1 year ago
Thanks for your comment! Do you get your compressed CO2 at a good price? I plan to completely discharge my extinguisher in one go to see how much ice I get, but I doubt it will be anywhere near 28 lbs worth. It costs me $28 to fill up the tank, so it may not negate your dry ice bill after all?

I'm intrigued by your cloud chamber talk. Do you have videos?
onrust1 year ago
Oh my! This is just patch worthy.
The King of Random (author)  onrust1 year ago
Excellent .. I got it. Thanks so much!!
No worries. I try to make them worth having. Thanks for the killer post. Trust me, it will be used!
The King of Random (author)  onrust1 year ago
I can't wait to hear what you do with it :)
I doubt your close enough to "hear it" >:)
The King of Random (author)  onrust1 year ago
I understand what you're saying :)
james.m.k1 year ago
Nice. But wouldn't it be more accurate to say you're collecting C02, rather than making it?
The King of Random (author)  james.m.k1 year ago
The CO2 is already collected in the extinguisher. The claim is how to make dry ice, and I believe it is still accurate.
dphillips1 year ago
Get a piece of plastic tube 1-2" and make a wooden dowel plunger to fit.
Add in your snow and hammer it down, then push out your dry ice plug!
The King of Random (author)  dphillips1 year ago
Perfect! I may actually do that!
d1no1 year ago
I have not seen dry ice at the local Wal-Mart but I did see it at Publix. I thought it was expensive. But I admit, I don't have experience with how to use it, much is needed or how lonh it lasts.
The King of Random (author)  d1no1 year ago
In my experience it should be about $1 per lb of dry ice. Very cheap. If you're paying more than that, keep looking around.
+1
The King of Random (author)  onrust1 year ago
Thanks again!
BudBump1 year ago
A fireman can help real good with making the ice, getting the fire extinguisher (the right kind too) AND with setting you up with some hot girls for a weekend at the MOOOOOVIES!
The King of Random (author)  BudBump1 year ago
lol
Great idea. If you have the money to blow on fire extinguishers. Dry ice is a dollar or two per pound if you can find a grocery store that carries it.
In addition to being dangerously cold, concentrated CO2 poises an asphyxiation hazard in closed environments.  The expanding CO2 can literally push all the normal atmosphere out of small room. That is one of the reasons CO2 extinguishers are fairly rare these days. Best to perform these types of experiments outside.
It's true. That's why it's a little harder to breathe when you set them off. Thanks for your advice :)
like lnxusr posted dry ice is sold every where now days cheaply no need to risk harm or waste a fire extinguisher .
You mean everywhere in the world .... not just the US? Wow, I didn't know that!
The King of Random (author)  dnaman1 year ago
http://www.dryicedirectory.com
Agreed
bajablue1 year ago
omgosh!  This is the coolest (haha!) thing ever!!! ;-D
The King of Random (author)  bajablue1 year ago
Thank you! :D
d1no1 year ago
Could this possibly be done in a cost effective way?
I am in Florida where keeping food cold in coolers for picnics is a challenge.
kasssa d1no1 year ago
Check into a product called "Techni-Ice". The sheets are reusable, and can be 'recharged' by placing them in a freezer. Available on Amazon, eBay, etc. Sheets can be cut into smaller pieces. I've used these for years, and am very happy with them.
lnxusr d1no1 year ago
Have you checked for dry ice? I'm in Arkansas and my local Walmart sells it year round. It's in a small chest freezer in the customer service area. My local Brookshires has started selling it as well. It'd be pretty easy to miss - like I said it's small. I think it's blue and white, and about the size of a small 5 cubic foot chest freezer. About 2 foot by 3 foot or so.
The King of Random (author)  lnxusr1 year ago
Inxusr is right. Buying from a local store or supplier will be the most cost effective. In the US it costs about $28.50 to charge the fire extinguisher and that's a lot more expensive than just buying dry ice.
Wepwopper1 year ago
Cool! I can never find the like buttons on this thing. grrr
The King of Random (author)  Wepwopper1 year ago
:) Haha, thanks!
jolshefsky1 year ago
I have to say I was expecting a different kind of Instructable based on the title. This is an article about how to convert liquid carbon dioxide in a fire extinguisher to solid "dry ice". To "make dry ice" implies a step-by-step process that is derived from a professional method of making dry ice — i.e. you could scale up and make the steps in the Instructable more economical to get to a professional process, or at least understand how dry ice is made.
The King of Random (author)  jolshefsky1 year ago
I'm sorry if your expectations weren't met. The title is "How to Make Dry Ice - With a Fire Extinguisher!"

This actually is how dry ice is made. It's the same concept. The only difference is you first would collect CO2 and compress it and cool it into liquid form.

I hope that helps, and if you have any information you feel would be useful to add, I'd be happy to consider it.
mcamachoz1 year ago
Aaaaaawesome!
I'll make it.
The King of Random (author)  mcamachoz1 year ago
Sweet! :D
mayagayam1 year ago
Brilliant. (As always.) My prepper-self loves the creative possibilities of using miscellaneous found objects for .... "did he just say, 'to turn a motor'? Why yes he did!" Thanks again, Grant :)
The King of Random (author)  mayagayam1 year ago
It's good to hear from you again! Thanks for your comment :D
twighahn1 year ago
how do you make ice cream with it?
The King of Random (author)  twighahn1 year ago
Thanks for asking. I'll have that in a new project but basically it's just an ice cream recipe with dry ice mixed in to add the cold, rather than churning for 30 minutes with ice and salt. And it comes out carbonated :)
In the UK CO2 fire extinguishers require discharge testing once every 10 years and the cylinder hydraulically tested. Many fire extinguisher service companies will let you borrow an old CO2 unit that's due discharging provided you return the cylinder (they get a rebate on a new/tested one).
When discharging a CO2 extinguisher you should only really hold the handles on top, or place a hand on the back of the cylinder to steady it, the horns usually are self supporting except on the large type. The larger type often have a handle on the horn which is safe to hold. Certainly don't hold any part of the thin discharge hose.
Some horns are insulated these days, but in the interest of safety you may be better advised to tie your pillow-case/bag to the horn securely (maybe with a jubilee clip).
And try to use gloves when handling the ice.
Dry ice in a bowl of punch makes for an interesting halloween centrepiece, although probably best in a seprate bowl to the actual drink.
Wonderful comment, and practical advise for anyone wanting to try this while keeping costs down. Thank you!
No worries, I own a fire extinguisher company so I thought I'd chip in.
Perfect!!
Awesome! Thanks again King!
Anytime my friend! And no need for formalities, you can call me Grant :D
Nice to meet you Grant! I'm Mario :-)
One of my favorite names!
Thanks a lot! :-)
lmnopeas1 year ago
Totally awesome!
The King of Random (author)  lmnopeas1 year ago
Thank you!
Cool Grant, bet the boys loved that! :) What a fun dad you are!
Thanks Natalie! I know you're the fun mom everyone wants, so I'm just doing my part to try and keep up :) When I was shooting the CO2, Rhys said it was too loud and he couldn't hear his movie. :D lol
doggg911 year ago
what did you say to get a free piece of safety equipment?
The King of Random (author)  doggg911 year ago
I asked if they had any I could use for a science project :)