Will dry ice sublime quicker on metal than wood?

29 June 2008

Question

Would [the Kitchen Science experiment - seeing that ice melts faster on a metal surface than on a plastic one] apply to dry ice in the same way?

Answer

Basically, yes. Dry ice doesn't actually melt. It sublimes straight to a carbon dioxide gas. That takes energy so the more energy you can get into the dry ice the quicker it will sublime into nothing. Something metal will conduct heat much quicker. It's something I've done in the past. If you get a metal spoon and squash a piece of dry ice then it sublimes much quicker and you get lots of gas given out with a high squeaking noise.

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