Dry-ice: Halloween special effect or potential weapon? - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Dry-ice: Halloween special effect or potential weapon?

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Typically dry-ice is used for freezing food, industrial cleaning and theatrical special effects. Earlier this week it was also used as a bomb at Los Angeles International Airport.

No injuries were reported, but the chaos and investigation delayed air traffic for hours.

Dry-ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide frozen to a temperature of minus 109 degrees. When blocks of dry-ice are placed in liquids such as water the dry ice will sublimate and create an eerie fog. Sublimation is the physical process of changing from a solid directly to a gas while skipping the liquid phase.

Unfortunately making a dry-ice bomb is fairly simple. All you need is water, dry-ice and a sealed container. As the dry-ice changes from solid to gas form it expands and eventually causes the explosion. In many states dry-ice is considered a hazardous material and is heavily regulated. In some places the use of a dry-ice bomb is even a felony.

In case you are wondering, we can't ban carbon dioxide because it is the gas animals and humans breathe out. Plants use carbon dioxide for food as part of the photosynthesis process.

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