Dry ice for shippingis a large market, especially for perishable goods. This article offers a comprehensive guide to understanding its importance, safety precautions, and regulations associated with its use.
Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide (CO2). At standard temperature and pressure, carbon dioxide is a gas. However, when compressed and cooled, carbon dioxide transitions directly from a gas to a solid, bypassing the liquid phase. This solid form is known as dry ice.
Some key properties of dry ice include:
- Temperature of –109.3°F (–78.5°C)
- No liquid state—it sublimates from solid to gas
- Colorless, odorless, and non-toxic
- Dissipates as air-quality CO2 gas
Precautions must be taken when handling dry ice because of its extremely cold temperature.
Protective equipment like insulated gloves and eye protection should be worn when handling dry ice. Direct contact with dry ice can cause frostbite on exposed skin in under 30 seconds.
Dry ice should be stored in insulated containers rather than sealed tightly, as the sublimation process releases gases that can cause unsafe pressure buildup. Well-ventilated environments are essential when working with dry ice.
Ingestion of dry ice should be avoided, as its extreme cold can damage internal tissue. Because it converts to carbon dioxide gas, the buildup of vapors can also displace oxygen and lead to suffocation if ventilation is inadequate.
Because dry ice maintains temperatures below –109°F, it can keep perishable items sufficiently frozen or cooled during handling and transportation. Its extreme chilling capacity makes it ideal for frozen goods, medical shipments, food deliveries, and other products requiring cold chain distribution.
Unlike regular ice, dry ice converts from a solid directly into a gas, so it does not create a liquid mess as it dissipates. And because it transforms into gaseous CO2 instead of water, it prevents the shipped products from getting soggy or damaged.
Dry ice also takes much longer to melt/sublimate than regular ice. This allows more flexibility and margin of error with transit times for chilling sensitive perishable shipments.
Dry ice creates a subzero environment during shipping, preventing spoilage. From succulent steaks to delicate cuts, the cold preservation provided by dry ice guarantees freshness for various meat types.
Dry ice maintains a controlled cold environment, inhibiting premature ripening and decay during transit. This preservation method ensures that a diverse array of fruits reaches consumers with flavors and textures intact.
Cheeses, yogurts, and butter require precise temperature control. Dry ice serves as a reliable refrigerant, preventing quality deterioration during shipping. This preserves the rich flavors and textures of various dairy products, from aged cheddar to creamy yogurts.
In the realm of chemical shipment, stability is paramount. Dry ice excels in temperature control, ensuring the safe transport of various chemicals like laboratory reagents and industrial solvents without compromising their integrity or composition.
Sensitive machinery like intricate electronics and heavy industrial equipment demands careful handling during transit. Dry ice provides temperature control, safeguarding against damage. This ensures that diverse mechanical equipment arrives intact and operational.
From pharmaceuticals to medical devices, maintaining product integrity is critical. Dry ice serves as a reliable refrigeration method. It ensures medical items reach their destination ready for use, including vaccines and life-saving equipment.
Safety is critical when it comes to handling dry ice. Take a look at this article to become more familiar with best practices for dry ice moving and shipping.
When shipping perishables, it is essential to follow all dry ice transportation regulations to ensure safety and compliance. Here are some crucial regulations for shipping dry ice:
- Dry ice is classified as a dangerous good by transportation regulations like IATA and ICAO. This means special rules exist for labeling, packaging, and transporting dry ice shipments.
- All dry ice packages must be labeled with the proper shipping name (“Dry Ice” or “Carbon Dioxide, Solid”), the UN number (UN1845), and the net weight of dry ice in the package.
- There are limits on the amount of dry ice that can be shipped based on the package type and shipment method. For example, up to 200 kg can be shipped on passenger aircraft or up to 4,000 kilograms on cargo-only aircraft.
Shippers must receive training and certification to properly prepare, package, label, and document dry ice shipments. Protective packaging approved for dry ice transportation, such as thick polystyrene boxes, must be used.
In addition to transportation rules, it’s essential to follow any regional, national, state, and local dry ice shipping requirements. Some states in the U.S. require dry ice shippers and carriers to register or get permits before shipping. International shipments may have country-specific import and export regulations.
Documentation for dry ice transportation typically includes a shipper’s declaration for dangerous goods, which provides information about the contents, packaging, hazards, and emergency procedures. The net quantity of dry ice must be specified on this form.
If you need a shipping solution for your perishables, contact the experts at OSC. Dry ice is made fresh daily in our Minnesota location, and we offer prompt delivery. Get in touch with our team today and find a solution for your needs.