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Surprising Fact: When Was Dry Ice Invented?

Did You Know? Dry Ice Has a Surprising Invention Date!

dry ice invention date

When Was Dry Ice Invented

Dry ice is a solid form of carbon dioxide (CO2), commonly used for preserving food, shipping goods, and in many other applications. Let's take a deep dive into the discovery and evolution of dry ice production.

The Discovery of Carbon Dioxide

Joseph Black, a Scottish chemist, was the first to discover carbon dioxide in the mid-1700s. Black's work with the gas helped pave the way for many other discoveries related to CO2. His studies showed that carbon dioxide was a necessary component for plant growth and led to advancements in industrial processes such as brewing and baking.

The Invention of Dry Ice

In 1835, a French chemist by the name of Charles Thilorier discovered that when liquid carbon dioxide expanded rapidly, it produced a solid form of the gas. Thilorier named this new substance "dry ice," and its unique properties led to its use in a variety of practical applications. Initially, it was used for preserving food, and it proved to be so effective that it quickly became a staple for food storage and shipping.

Dry ice also has a variety of other uses in everyday life. For example, it is used to create special effects in the entertainment industry, as well as for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Dry ice can even be used to make ice cream, which led to the invention of the popular "Dragon's Breath" dessert, where the ice cream is dipped in liquid nitrogen to create a smoky effect.

The Evolution of Dry Ice Production

The first commercial production of dry ice began in the early 20th century, where it was produced by pressurizing and cooling carbon dioxide gas. Today, dry ice is produced on a large scale using special pellets or blocks that are used in a variety of industries.

The production process starts by capturing and compressing carbon dioxide gas into a liquid form. Next, the liquid is released, resulting in the expansion of the CO2, which rapidly cools and solidifies into the familiar form of dry ice. The dry ice is usually then cut into pre-determined sizes and then packaged into insulated containers for transportation.

Dry ice has come a long way since its initial discovery by Charles Thilorier in 1835. Advances in technology and production techniques have made it more accessible and affordable to use in a wide range of industries. Whether you're shipping perishable foods or creating special effects for a movie, dry ice is a reliable and effective tool for a variety of everyday needs.

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When Was Dry Ice Invented?

Dry ice is a solid form of carbon dioxide that is extremely cold and has a wide range of applications in various fields. It is commonly used for the preservation and transportation of perishable goods, cleaning and maintenance, special effects, and science experiments. But when was dry ice invented? Here is a brief history of the discovery and development of dry ice.

The Discovery of Dry Ice

The discovery of dry ice is credited to a French chemist named Charles Thilorier in 1835. Thilorier accidentally created dry ice while experimenting with liquid carbon dioxide under high pressure. He noticed that when the liquid was released from its container, it rapidly expanded and turned into a solid-state, producing a dense white fog.

At first, dry ice was used primarily for refrigeration purposes, but it wasn't until the early 20th century that it gained widespread popularity for its other uses.

The Development of Dry Ice Technology

The first commercial dry ice plant was established by Dewar's whiskey company in London in 1925. The plant used compressed carbon dioxide gas to produce dry ice in large quantities. This marked the beginning of modern dry ice production, which is still used today.

The use of dry ice also became popular in the food industry during the mid-20th century. It was used to transport perishable foods such as seafood, meat, and dairy products. The use of dry ice allowed these products to be transported over long distances without spoiling, thereby extending their shelf life and reducing waste.

Benefits of Dry Ice

Preservation and Transportation

Dry ice is commonly used for the preservation and transportation of perishable goods, such as food and medical supplies. It is an effective refrigerant that can keep products at a low temperature for an extended period of time. Dry ice is also used in the shipping industry to protect delicate electronic equipment during transportation.

One of the main benefits of using dry ice for preservation is that it eliminates the need for a refrigerant or electricity. This makes it an ideal choice for outdoor activities such as camping or boating where electricity is not readily available.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Dry ice blasting is a popular cleaning method that uses dry ice pellets to remove dirt, grime, and other unwanted materials from various surfaces. It is a non-toxic and eco-friendly cleaning solution that can be used in a variety of applications.

Dry ice blasting is an effective method for removing graffiti from walls, cleaning electrical equipment, and getting rid of mold and mildew. It is also used in the aerospace industry to clean sensitive equipment and machinery.

Special Effects and Science

Dry ice is used in many special effects in films and theater productions. It produces a thick fog when it comes into contact with warmer air, giving the illusion of smoke or vapor. This effect is commonly used in horror movies, music videos, and live performances.

Dry ice is also used in science experiments to demonstrate the properties of carbon dioxide and its unique properties in a solid state. Its extremely cold temperature makes it an ideal substance for demonstrating the principles of thermodynamics and the states of matter.


Dry ice is a versatile and valuable substance that has revolutionized many industries. Its unique properties and benefits have made it an ideal choice for preservation, transportation, cleaning, special effects, and science experiments. With ongoing research and development, the use of dry ice is only expected to expand and improve in the years to come.

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When Was Dry Ice Invented?

Dry ice is a type of ice that is extremely cold, and unlike other types of ice, it does not melt into a liquid. It is often used in various applications, such as cooling or freezing food items, preserving medical products, and creating special effects in the entertainment industry. But when was dry ice invented? Let's take a closer look.Dry ice was first discovered in 1835 by a French chemist named Charles Thilorier. He was experimenting with different chemicals when he stumbled upon a substance that was significantly colder than regular ice. He named his discovery "solidified carbonic acid," which is now commonly known as dry ice. After Thilorier's initial discovery, scientists around the world began experimenting with dry ice to learn more about its properties and potential uses. One of the early uses of dry ice was in the transportation of food items. In the 1920s, companies began using dry ice to ship frozen goods across the country without having to worry about the ice melting and ruining the products.Another significant development in the history of dry ice was its use in the entertainment industry. In the 1930s, Hollywood studios began using dry ice to create fog and special effects in their films. Since then, dry ice has become a staple in the entertainment industry and is still used today to create everything from fog machines to dramatic stage effects.

Safety Tips for Handling Dry Ice

When handling dry ice, it is important to take the necessary precautions to prevent injuries and accidents. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

Protective Gear

When handling dry ice, it is important to wear protective gloves, goggles, and clothing to prevent frostbite and other injuries. Dry ice is extremely cold (-109.3°F), and prolonged contact with the skin can cause serious damage. Make sure to wear thick, insulated gloves and make sure that your clothing covers as much skin as possible. In addition, wearing goggles can help protect your eyes from any flying debris that may result from handling the dry ice.

Storage and Ventilation

Dry ice should be stored in a well-ventilated area to prevent the buildup of carbon dioxide gas. If stored in an airtight container, the dry ice can sublimate (turn into gas) and build up pressure until the container explodes. In addition, using dry ice in a poorly ventilated area can lead to a buildup of carbon dioxide gas, which can be harmful or even deadly. Be sure to store your dry ice in a well-ventilated area and keep it away from any heat sources or flames.


When disposing of dry ice, it should be allowed to sublimate (turn into gas) in a well-ventilated area. Do not dispose of dry ice in garbage cans, sinks, or toilets, as this can cause serious damage to your plumbing system. Instead, place the dry ice in a well-ventilated area and allow it to sublimate on its own. If you need to dispose of dry ice quickly, place it in a bowl or container of warm water to speed up the process.

By following these safety tips, you can ensure that you handle dry ice safely and avoid any accidents or injuries. Always keep in mind the potential hazards associated with dry ice and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and those around you.

Dry ice was invented by Thomas Seeley in the year 1835. Read more about inventions in history here.

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