Written By: Narek Hakobyan
Knowing how long dry ice (a solid form of carbon dioxide) lasts and making the most of its cooling power is crucial for shipping biological samples worldwide. Unlike regular ice, which melts into liquid water at 0°C (32°F), dry ice sublimates directly from a solid to a gas at 78.5°C (-109.3°F).
There are several factors that influence how long dry ice will last in your shipping container:
Mercury’s Recommendation: Dry ice sublimates at a rate of 5-10 lbs per 24 hours in a well-insulated cooler. We recommend 5-10 lbs of dry ice per day for items weighing up to 12.5 lbs. A shipment lasting 2 days requires at least 20 lbs of dry ice.
Be careful when you handle dry ice. Here are some safety tips:
If you regularly ship specimen materials that require the contents to remain being frozen, consider using a specialty cold chain service that includes dry ice replenishment during customs clearance for peace of mind that temperature excursions won’t happen during unforeseen delays.