Dry Ice DIY co2 any chance work? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 05:47 AM Thread Starter
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Dry Ice DIY co2 any chance work?

Just a thought that came into my mind. I don't know anything about it besides that its made up of two oxygen atoms bonded to a single carbon atom and that dry ice is a form of carbon dioxide.

Can you use dry ice in DIY co2 bottles in replacement of the yeast and sugar?

It might just be a simple answer No. Just need to know.

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 05:49 AM
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In theory that would work but for practicality its not really a good idea. Dry ice "melts" really fast...
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 05:52 AM Thread Starter
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Oh cool. I kind of figure it might not work at all, might become a dangerous bomb or some short after it pressure up if not done right. Just had to asked, thought came into my mind and needed some opinions and answers.

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 06:25 AM
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I thought this was a cool question so I thought about it and GitMoe's answer a little bit more:

Dry Ice is frozen CO2. Because it's in its solid state, it's really, really dense, so as GitMoe said, the melting rate at room temperature would produce WAAAAAY more CO2 than needed for a tank (Most people stream 2-4 pea-sized bubbles of CO2 into their tanks per second).

But what if you could control the melt rate? If you had some sort of super freezer you COULD control the melt rate such that it only leaks a LITTLE bit of CO2, but that rate would be really difficult to fine tune. Also, that super freezer is going to be one high end, finicky, EXPENSIVE piece of equipment.

So basically, like GitMoe said, theoretically possible, but completely impractical. We've already solved the problem of delivering CO2 cheaply and efficiently, and it's with CO2 tanks and yeast setups.

Creative thought though!

(BTW, another exotic form of CO2 delivery that comes to mind is pouring soda water into your tank. Yeah it works, but compared to other methods, its a hassle, totally inefficient, much more expensive, not to mention super dangerous to your pH!)
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 06:28 AM
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My dad worked in chemical factory which had dry ice and he got some for cooling beer on weeding party we attented to. Guys at the bar didnt know what they are doing so they sealed shut cap on plastic barrel with bottles of beer . Pressure builded up, turned barrel into egg and cap launched into air with a bang.
One more problem with dry ice is that it is very cold, enough cold to have frost bites or worse. We transported cold ice in plastic bag with holes and had a gloves but it was cold still. Bag was inflated like balloon wih just couple of pieces of dry ice inside
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 06:29 AM Thread Starter
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Nice response. I can picture exactly how that would work out. Soda water is another cool thought. It's all a thought that's all

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 09:17 AM
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The problem with dry ice is that the CO2 would all be made at once. If thats what you want just mix vinegar and baking soda.

As a kid you never mixed vinegar, baking soda and liquid soap for fun?
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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The problem with dry ice is that the CO2 would all be made at once. If thats what you want just mix vinegar and baking soda.

As a kid you never mixed vinegar, baking soda and liquid soap for fun?
Hard to believe, but I never did that as a kid. Never even did that even til now. Only time I used dry ice was to remove the black tar once you remove the carpet within the interior of a car. Crunch up pounds of dry ice and threw it over the black hard tar, woke up next morning and the black tar can be scraped off like butter.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 01:24 PM
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This might sound stupid, but I'm gonna throw it out there. What if you made a canister that you used dry ice to refill yourself with co2? TaaaDaaaa DIY Pressurized CO2.

My first thought of setup was basically a pipe bomb with a valve on it to control how much flows out. Just a short piece of steel pipe threaded on both ends with a cap on each side. Drill and thread a valve into it and you have a refillable pressure canister. When you stop seeing bubbles, or preesure guage starts to drop, just unscrew one of the caps and drop in another piece.

Pros - (In Theory) simple, effective, clean

Cons - A lot of unknowns including - safety (reference descriptive term "pipe bomb " above)
Long term cost (how much will a small piece produce)
Could it cool the tank?
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 02:17 PM
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CO2 is just as cheap as dry ice... The cost of some contraption to capture the dry ice and pressurize a tank is an outlandish though, at best.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 02:50 PM
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The cost of what I'm talking about would be very cheap. Probably like $20 for parts. As for the dry ice vs co2 cost, I wasn't sure how much co2 a piece of dry ice would produce. Is it highly concentrated when frozen? I have no idea, just throwing out ideas so people smarter than me can pick them apart and tell me why it won't work.

I would be mostly concerned with finding out how much pressure would build up, and how much it could handle. But if you used steel pipe I would imagine it could hold alot since it is pretty thick when compared to most CO2 canisters. Now that I think about it, I have a friend who makes/welds large pressurized gas containers for his job. He could probably make me something really nifty for free or cheap. And I imagine he would have a good understanding for what would be structurally safe. I'm only interested in the idea because it's convenient. I can get dry ice while I'm at the grocery store. I would have to go out of the way to get CO2.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 03:10 PM
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If you google co2 triple point and look at the images you'll see that if you confine solid co2 and the temp rises to room (eventually) the pressure will rise to 1000ATM or more (15000psi).

I recommend you abandon any idea of confining dry ice.

jim
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Miller View Post
If you google co2 triple point and look at the images you'll see that if you confine solid co2 and the temp rises to room (eventually) the pressure will rise to 1000ATM or more (15000psi).

I recommend you abandon any idea of confining dry ice.

jim
See. ^ There's one of those smart people I was talking about.
I always have strange (AKA: Stupid) ideas and there is always someone on forums to shoot me down with facts so I don't kill myself. At least I'm smart enough to know when my ideas are potentially dangerous so I don't end up a news story I guess.

Thanks Jim
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 03:43 PM
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I'm here to learn as well. There's an ocean of things I don't know about aquaria as I'm just getting started. Triple point is just one thing I know to check when messing with material phase changes.

Glad to help!

Jim (aquarium noob)
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Miller View Post
If you google co2 triple point and look at the images you'll see that if you confine solid co2 and the temp rises to room (eventually) the pressure will rise to 1000ATM or more (15000psi).

I recommend you abandon any idea of confining dry ice.

jim
If you put a lump of dry ice in a pressure tight container, it will first sublimate to gaseous CO2, then, as the pressure builds up, it will condense to liquid CO2, leaving you with just a tank of a little liquid CO2 and a lot of gaseous CO2 at about 800 psi pressure. That is much more pressure than a simple piece of pipe with end caps could safely hold. Even if this could be designed, the cost of liquid CO2 is very small, probably comparable to or less than the cost of dry ice.

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