The history of dry ice

Emanuele Mortarotti in
17 January 2019

What is dry ice? How did it start? When was it first discovered? Keep reading until the end of the article to find out!

Come Nasce Il Ghiaccio Secco.I6660 Kxfttja W600 L1

Welcome back to Dispotech blog, your disposable excellence. Today, based on an article published on, we talk about dry ice - one of our customers' most popular products.

What is dry ice? How did it start? When was it first discovered? Keep reading until the end of the article to find out!


In a nutshell, dry ice is the frozen form of carbon dioxide, which is exhaled by humans and is essential for plant life and health. Dry ice is very cold with an average temperature of -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit (about -625 degrees Celsius). Also, it is considered an “unusual solid” because it transforms directly into gas - not a liquid - during the sublimation process.

Most scientific authors have identified the French chemist Charles Thilorier as the first scientist to have discovered the dry ice phenomena. In 1835, the scientist was observing a metal cylinder containing a large quantity of liquid carbon dioxide, waiting for it to evaporate. Once it evaporated, there was a block of dry ice at the base of the cylinder. Prest Air Devices, which later became DryIce Corporation of America, was the first company to market dry ice in the United States of America: in 1925, the company built a factory which sold dry ice to the railways to keep train cars cool.

Nowadays dry ice is obtained by releasing pressurised liquid carbon dioxide in special expansion chambers. Once released, the liquid carbon dioxide turns into gas and the temperature drops suddenly. About half of the liquid is transformed into "flakes" of dry ice, which are then pressed together, forming actual blocks of dry ice.

Dry ice has been used for many scientific and commercial  purposes - including the film and entertainment industry. For instance, it can be placed in hot water to simulate a fog effect!

However, it is mainly used in the medical and/or sports profession for traumas or to provide immediate relief following contusions or minor injuries. It is no coincidence that Dispotech dry ice is one of our most popular products!


Do you use it? Did you know how it is produced and when it was discovered? Have your say, by contacting Dispotech!

Most read articles

Sport Medical line
05 October 2021

Doing sport and preventing injuries in autumn

The first chills, the one heralding the arrival of winter, are setting in and in this article we want to give you some practical advice to prevent annoying injuries that can cause you pain - or worse, keep you housebound to fully recover.

Read the article
Inquinamento Medical line
21 September 2021

Pollution, could recyclable PPE solve the problem?

the proposal of the UK and more specifically of the NHS (the country's national health system) to use recyclable PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to reduce pollution.

Read the article
Acqua Sport
08 September 2021

Why is water so important for the body

The importance of constant hydration and the necessary maintenance of water homeostasis in our bodies.

Read the article
Blog Quando Usare Il Ghiaccio Per I Dolori Al Collo Medical line
27 September 2021

When to use ice packs for neck pain

Today's Dispotech blog article is about an unfortunate nuisance common to many people: neck pain. One of the cheapest but also effective remedies is to apply ice to the painful area - possibly combined with targeted exercises for muscle relaxation.

Read the article