What Exactly is Dry Water or Solid Water?
Despite its seemingly contradictory name, dry water is a real chemical substance, composed almost entirely of normal water (95%).
However, it looks nothing like the water we drink every day. Dry or solid water is a white powder made up of tiny water beads. These beads maintain their consistency thanks to a substance that traps the small droplets and prevents them from merging, resulting in a powder formed by tiny spheres.
History of Dry Water or Solid Water
Dry or solid water was discovered in the 1960s during research in England for cosmetic industry trials.
At that time, the properties of this curious compound were unknown. Research conducted by the University of Liverpool shed light on its unique morphology, revealing that a layer of silica allows dry or solid water to maintain a form similar to flour.
These investigations, aimed at determining what dry water is, also uncovered an interesting property of the substance, which has recently been leveraged to maximize its potential.
Properties of Dry Water or Solid Water
Here are two main properties of dry or solid water:
Dry water can absorb or retain three times more carbon dioxide than liquid water. This gas (CO2) is one of the main contributors to climate change. This discovery has opened up new uses for dry water, such as combating global warming.
Additionally, dry water can perform this function with other gases, like methane.
With just 60 grams of dry water, it’s possible to store 10 liters of methane, preventing its uncontrolled release into the atmosphere and facilitating its transport.
Moreover, dry water accelerates chemical reactions where water is a catalyst, such as the production of succinic acid. But how does dry water trap so much gas?
The ability to produce this acid lies in a chemical reaction where water typically acts as a catalyst. However, within the particles of solid water, this process is facilitated, occurring without the need for an additional energy source.
Thus, solid water becomes a compound useful for designing efficient systems to accelerate these reactions, thanks to the conducive environment created by this powder.
What Happens to the Gas Accumulated in Dry or Solid Water?
This is a question that arises from observing the accumulation capacity of dry water. There is an answer to this.
Once the gas is integrated into the dry water, it can be extracted again through specific centrifugation processes, allowing us to separate the gas for desired uses.
Uses of Dry or Solid Water
The characteristics of dry water make it very interesting for various sectors and research, as it could be used for purposes such as:
- CO2 storage to reduce global warming caused by this gas, which significantly contributes to climate change.
- Accumulation of other gases like hydrogen, with the latter potentially being stored for more efficient use in hydrogen-powered automotive engines.
- Acceleration of succinic acid production.
- Improvement and development of the transport of dangerous but widely used gases like methane, which pose fewer risks within dry water than when transported in other forms.
In addition to these, there are still unexplored possibilities and applications that dry water could offer to the chemical or pharmaceutical industry, streamlining and ensuring emulsion processes, synthesis, or acting as a catalyst for the production of food and other consumer products.
Dry Water: A Substance with Much More to Reveal
Now that we understand what dry or solid water is and its uses, we are much closer to comprehending all the possibilities and potential this compound offers for crucial objectives like combating climate change.