Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: dry ice to gas

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 07/10/2016
I want to conduct an experiment to dissolve a solid to a gas IE: dry ice to co2 gas instantly, meaning, what chemical will react with dry ice in the right amount to get the solid to a gas in under 3 seconds? is there a catalyst that reacts with dry ice other than water as i dont want any solid left, only gas
- gary wellen (age 47)
melbourne Australia

The sluggishness of the process isn't of the sort that can be fixed with a catalyst. Catalysts help molecules find an easier path through some sort of barrier that's slowing down the reaction. There's no real barrier to CO2 molecules leaving as gas particles. The problem is that it takes energy ("latent heat") to break each one loose from the crystal. So what makes the process slow is that it takes a while to get that energy in, e.g. by thermal conduction. Maybe shining a very bright infrared light in would be one way of getting heat in quickly.

Mike W.

(published on 07/10/2016)

Follow-up on this answer.