Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Dry Ice Fun Park

Dry ice is fun ... let's share the love.
  [vote for,

There's a lake in Africa that's perpetually filled with...water. But in that water is vast quantities of dissolved carbon dioxide (see link). Several projects are currently underway to prevent the CO2 bubbling up and suffocating people (as has happened in the past), but this whole process seems a terrible waste to me.

I propose that the entire lake should be frozen, using some sort of low-energy, large-scale refrigeration process. As it turns out, such a process already exists (see the other link).

So, freeze the lake, scrape off the frozen water layer on the top, and presto - there remains a lake-sized block of dry ice.

Now that the danger of mass death by suffocation has been averted, and in its place is a giant block of ice (admittedly dry), enclose the whole lake under some kind of dome and maintain a very low temperature inside. This will facilitate keeping the CO2 frozen. Visitors to the fun park will be able to skate on the lake surface without the worry of becoming soaked if they fall over. The only drawback will be the need for visitors to wear some type of breathing apparatus, as introducing a breathable atmosphere within the dome would result in a cloud of "steam", obscuring vision and leading to collisions between skaters.

vigilante, Aug 04 2003

Lake Nyos et al http://www.newscien...ws.jsp?id=ns9999393
[vigilante, Oct 04 2004]


       Ummm, you will not be able to produce or sustain dry ice using this method.   

       BTW: the first link doesn't work.
Shz, Aug 04 2003

       Um. They'd also need a whole lot of protective gear to keep their skin from touching the ice. And the room would have to be kept at -109 degrees Farenheit to keep the ice solid, so parents of skating kids might get chilly just standing around. I suggest a heated room where they can watch.   

       I'm just gonna stick with getting wet if I fall, for now.
xicl, Aug 04 2003

       The lake is apparently full of CO2, Hydrogen Sulphide and Methane. This slowly built up in the sediment and rock strata until in '86 a huge fart bubble killed about a thousand people. Eeek; what a way to go!   

       Certainly, this is not a place to build a theme park. Not one that I'd go to anyway.   

       The current solution uses a network of pipes to draw away built up gases. Rather than dissipating this, there has been some talk of separation of the methane from the mixed gases.   

       The question is what's left to do with the CO2 and H2S? My guess is dissipation is probably best, but assuming the lake is already a sterile hell-hole, why not re-dissolve it into the waters?
FloridaManatee, Aug 04 2003

       [sealorator] - the melting of the ice under the blade is caused ny a slightly more unique reason. This explains why dry ice skaiting is a non-starter. Link
gnomethang, Aug 04 2003

       Although you couldn't skate on dry ice, you could slide on the layer of CO2 that sublimes out of the surface. You'd need big flat shoes (probably too big to be practical) and would float on a cushion of Carbon Dioxide.   

       That said, the method of obtaining dry ice sounds dubious at best, you'd need breathing apparatus, the dry ice would soon run out, and the whole thing would probably be much more efficient if had the dry ice in your scates and scated on any old flat surface.
st3f, Aug 04 2003

       Sublime skating   

       what if you had some sort of seat with a large flat bottom you could have a tiller on the back and play a form of air hockey with your friends/kids as the puck
slarti, Jan 21 2004

       Working Lake Nyos <link>
Klaatu, Jan 21 2004

       I always thought ice skating rinks where dry ice. Never mind.
RobertKidney, Jan 21 2004

       Next up - Liquid Nitrogen Splash Land.
Detly, Jan 22 2004

       not a good idea, dry ice is -100F
pwn3d, Feb 06 2006

       [gnomethang] When I was at school the teachers used to let us experiment with dry-ice*, and one thing we found was that because it sublimates, if you put a penny on a small blob of dry-ice and press down, the gas pressure forces the penny up, the gas is released and the penny drops back. The process repeats rather rapidly, and the result is a pleasing "fart" sound.
So, if instead of blades, you had flat plates on your skates, you could fart-glide around the rink.

*Only later did he tell us he got the dry-ice from the undertaker.
coprocephalous, Feb 06 2006

       //melting of the ice under the blade is caused ny a slightly more unique reason//
I gather that the theory that ice melts under the scates because liquid water is more dense than ice is more or less bunk, and the melting is just caused by friction.
spidermother, Feb 06 2006

       It's called regelation. UNder pressure, the freezing point of water lowers enough so that a thin layer melts, and immediatrely resolidifies once the pressure is released. As to the fact that CO2 sublimes, and doesn't liquify first, skating wouldn't work. It would be like trying to skate on a wooden floor.
DesertFox, Feb 06 2006

       [df] see my anno above.
re. regelation - there is some debate about whether the pressure of a skate blade is sufficient to lower the freezing point of the ice - the flat bottom of a curling stone almost certainly couldn't provide such high pressure, so friction would seem to be the most likely cause..
coprocephalous, Feb 06 2006


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