Difference Wiki

Dry Ice vs. Liquid Nitrogen: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on January 8, 2024
Dry Ice is a solid form of carbon dioxide, used as a cooling agent. Liquid Nitrogen is nitrogen in a liquid state at extremely low temperatures, used in cryogenics.

Key Differences

Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide (CO2) and sublimates directly into gas without passing through a liquid stage. Liquid nitrogen, conversely, is nitrogen in a liquid state, obtained by subjecting nitrogen gas to very low temperatures and high pressure.
Sara Rehman
Jan 08, 2024
In terms of temperature, dry ice is colder than water ice, typically at -78.5°C (-109.3°F), making it an effective cooling agent. Liquid nitrogen is much colder, at about -196°C (-320.8°F), and is used in applications requiring extreme cooling.
Sara Rehman
Jan 08, 2024
Dry ice is commonly used for refrigeration, especially for transporting perishable goods and for creating fog effects in entertainment. Liquid nitrogen has diverse applications, including cryopreservation, cryosurgery, and culinary uses for flash freezing.
Huma Saeed
Jan 08, 2024
Handling dry ice requires care to avoid skin burns and adequate ventilation due to CO2 gas release. Liquid nitrogen requires even more caution in handling due to its extremely low temperatures, which can cause severe frostbite upon contact with skin.
Harlon Moss
Jan 08, 2024
Dry ice doesn't leave a residue, as it sublimates directly from solid to gas. Liquid nitrogen, when it evaporates, returns to the nitrogen gas, which is non-toxic and inert, making it safe in ventilated spaces.
Sara Rehman
Jan 08, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Comparison Chart

Composition

Solid carbon dioxide
Liquid state of nitrogen
Sara Rehman
Jan 08, 2024

Temperature

-78.5°C (-109.3°F)
-196°C (-320.8°F)
Huma Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Uses

Refrigeration, fog effects
Cryopreservation, cryosurgery, culinary uses
Sara Rehman
Jan 08, 2024

Handling Precautions

Avoid skin burns, ensure ventilation
Extreme caution for frostbite, require ventilation
Sara Rehman
Jan 08, 2024

Residue

Sublimates to gas, no residue
Evaporates to nitrogen gas, no toxic residue
Harlon Moss
Jan 08, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Dry Ice and Liquid Nitrogen Definitions

Dry Ice

Sublimates directly from solid to gas.
The dry ice created a misty effect by sublimating at room temperature.
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

Liquid Nitrogen

Nitrogen in a liquid state at very low temperatures.
Liquid nitrogen is used in cryogenic freezers.
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

Dry Ice

Does not leave a wet residue.
Dry ice is preferred in situations where moisture can cause damage.
Janet White
Dec 22, 2023

Liquid Nitrogen

Can cause severe frostbite upon contact with skin.
Handling liquid nitrogen requires protective gloves.
Janet White
Dec 22, 2023

Dry Ice

Solid form of carbon dioxide.
They used dry ice to keep the food frozen during transport.
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

Liquid Nitrogen

Evaporates to nitrogen gas.
In well-ventilated areas, the evaporation of liquid nitrogen is safe.
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

Dry Ice

Used as a cooling agent.
Dry ice is ideal for shipping medical samples.
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

Liquid Nitrogen

Used in cryopreservation and cryosurgery.
Liquid nitrogen is essential for preserving biological samples.
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

Dry Ice

Colder than water ice.
Dry ice keeps things frozen longer than regular ice.
Janet White
Dec 22, 2023

Liquid Nitrogen

Has a temperature of about -196°C (-320.8°F).
The extreme cold of liquid nitrogen can instantly freeze food items.
Huma Saeed
Dec 22, 2023

FAQs

How cold is dry ice?

About -78.5°C (-109.3°F).
Sara Rehman
Jan 08, 2024

What temperature is liquid nitrogen?

Around -196°C (-320.8°F).
Aimie Carlson
Jan 08, 2024

Can dry ice cause burns?

Yes, it can cause cold burns upon direct skin contact.
Janet White
Jan 08, 2024

What is dry ice?

Solid carbon dioxide used as a cooling agent.
Sara Rehman
Jan 08, 2024

What is liquid nitrogen used for?

In cryopreservation, cryosurgery, and culinary arts.
Janet White
Jan 08, 2024

Is dry ice safe for food transport?

Yes, it's commonly used to keep food frozen during transport.
Janet White
Jan 08, 2024

What is liquid nitrogen?

Nitrogen in liquid form at extremely low temperatures.
Huma Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

What are the uses of dry ice?

In refrigeration, transport of perishables, and creating fog effects.
Janet White
Jan 08, 2024

Does dry ice melt?

No, it sublimates directly from solid to gas.
Harlon Moss
Jan 08, 2024

What happens if dry ice is sealed in a container?

It can cause the container to burst due to gas buildup.
Janet White
Jan 08, 2024

Is liquid nitrogen environmentally friendly?

Yes, as it evaporates back into harmless nitrogen gas.
Sara Rehman
Jan 08, 2024

Can liquid nitrogen freeze alcohol?

Yes, it can freeze alcohol and other liquids quickly.
Sara Rehman
Jan 08, 2024

How long does dry ice last?

It depends on the insulation, but typically a few hours to a couple of days.
Janet White
Jan 08, 2024

Is liquid nitrogen safe to touch?

No, it can cause severe frostbite.
Harlon Moss
Jan 08, 2024

Can you cook with liquid nitrogen?

Yes, it's used for flash-freezing in culinary applications.
Sara Rehman
Jan 08, 2024

Is liquid nitrogen used in medicine?

Yes, particularly in cryosurgery and preserving biological samples.
Harlon Moss
Jan 08, 2024

How should liquid nitrogen be stored?

In well-insulated containers designed for cryogenic liquids.
Janet White
Jan 08, 2024

What precautions are needed for dry ice?

Use gloves for handling and ensure good ventilation.
Sara Rehman
Jan 08, 2024

Can dry ice be used in drinks?

Yes, for creating a fog effect, but it shouldn't be ingested.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 08, 2024

How do you dispose of liquid nitrogen?

Allow it to evaporate in a well-ventilated area.
Harlon Moss
Jan 08, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons