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Ever since I saw Mr. Wizard dump some in his Mr. Wizard sink, I’ve loved dry ice. But besides creating Halloween creepiness, there are a zillions of industrial uses for the stuff, from freezing water in valveless pipes before repairs to serving as abrasive for blast cleaning — no cleanup required! But despite dry ice’s usefulness, I can’t think of a legitimate reason for me to want a $270 dollar Frigimat Cub-Dry dry ice maker other than the fact that it’s just cool.

The Frigimat Cub-Dry is produced by Bel-Art products for on demand dry ice production — primarily for lab and industrial uses. Sublimated gas from liquid CO2 tanks fills the Frigimat’s chamber, and the decrease in pressure lowers the temperature, thus solidifying the remaining gas into a 250 to 350 gram dry ice slug in about five minutes. A 50 pound tank makes 10 to 15 slugs.

Sure, you don’t need one of these. But you know you want one.

Frigimat Cub-Dry [BelArt.com]
Retail Links [Google.com]


7 Responses to It’s Just Cool: On-Demand Dry Ice

  1. jeff says:

    I just used a couple blocks for a halloween party. The punch was a hit. I too love dry ice.

    Any idea how much a 50 lb tank goes for?

  2. Will says:

    I make a lot of music videos around the house so this is key!

  3. For a third of the price, you can get a less sophisticated version from Edmund Scientific: http://scientificsonline.com/product.asp?pn=3071533&bhcd2=1194462793

    Just make sure to keep adequate ventilation whenever you’re playing with this stuff, as it settles near the floor and can really drop the oxygen content in a room. A single lump won’t sublimate quickly enough to be a big danger, but creating a lump in either of these machines, or just opening the tank to blow gas straight into the room, is definitely a large enough release to worry about.

  4. The simple bag-type dry ice maker claims 25% CO2 conversion efficiency, but no efficiency is directly stated for the fancy blue item. I just bothered to figure it out, so I though I might as well mention it :-).

    The product page for the blue device says you’ll get “10-16” blocks which each weigh “250 to 350” grams from a 50lb cylinder.

    If you take the middle of each range and so assume 13 blocks each weighing 300 grams, then you’re turning 50 pounds of gas into 3900 grams of dry ice.

    3900 grams is 8.6 pounds; if it takes 50 pounds of gas to make that much, the efficiency is only 17.2%, significantly lower than that of the simple bag. That kind of makes sense, since compressing the dry ice “snow” into a puck will inhibit the gas expansion somewhat.

    Then again, solid pucks of the stuff will last longer in many practical applications (like refrigeration of packing cases) than the random CO2 snow you get in the bag.

  5. ChrisW says:

    “Sublimated gas from liquid CO2”? I thought sublimation only occurs when going from solid to gas.

  6. Lorenzo says:


    Yes, but you forget the other half of the equation.

    From Websters:

    Sublime: to convert (a solid substance) by heat into a vapor, which on cooling condenses again to solid form, without apparent liquefaction.

  7. Our site has changed and the url you listed no longer directs to the frigimat

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