Experimental and numerical study of insulation packages containing dry ice pellets

A.S. Purandare*, S.W. van Lohuizen, R.M.A. Spijkers, S. Vanapalli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
278 Downloads (Pure)


Shippers of healthcare and food products, in most cases, have regulatory responsibility to ensure quality by maintaining product's temperature during transportation. Dry ice is commonly used as cold source inside the insulated cold-storage packages which are often transported via air freights. But dry ice sublimation can lead to asphyxiation of crew members or passengers due to which, several regulatory bodies have recommended safe limits of dry ice aboard aircraft mainly based on rule-of-thumb. Prior to establishing the limits, understanding dry ice sublimation is of paramount importance. Therefore the current research, experimentally and numerically explores dry ice sublimation packed in commonly encountered containers made of polystyrene foam. A three dimensional quasi-steady model is developed to predict variation of dry ice mass inside the insulation packages. The model is validated against mass and temperature measurements performed on two types of insulation packages made of different material and geometry. The model is able to fairly predict the reduction in dry ice mass over time and the end-of-sublimation time. Both experimental and numerical results show that the sublimation rate of dry ice can be reduced by covering the inner walls of insulation package with a reflective layer like aluminized mylar foil. The good agreement between model and experimental data of dry ice mass variation makes it possible for the shippers to use the modeling approach in estimating sublimation rates of dry ice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116486
JournalApplied thermal engineering
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2021


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Cold storage
  • Dry ice sublimation
  • Insulation
  • Modeling
  • Air freights


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