CO2 and Entertainment in Portland and beyond

Carbon dioxide (CO2) has been used to highlight special effects in the entertainment industry for a long time. The gas is cooled to a liquid to easily (and economically) create special effects like fog and haze. Many people have witnessed haze effects at concerts to highlight a spotlight or on TV for cloud effects.

Low-lying fog effects can be created by using liquid CO2 that is usually placed in compressed cylinders. Low-lying fog is a result of the liquid CO2 being used to chill theatrical fog which results in a thicker fog that stays very low to the ground. Fog can also be achieved inexpensively by using dry ice. Technicians can heat water to boiling or near boiling temperatures in large containers and then put a couple of pieces of dry ice in those vessels. Carbon Dioxide cannot be maintained in a liquid form in atmospheric pressure therefore, it instantly becomes a gas. Typically there is a fan at the top of the container to blow that gas into the desired direction for the fog effects.

Liquid CO2 by itself can be used as an atmospheric fog in place of pyrotechnics in Portland. This can be done by emitting liquid CO2 in the air via an electric solenoid valve. When the CO2 expands to a vapor and condenses moisture in the air, large clouds of gas are created. This method of fog creation is frequently used in magic acts since the CO2 vapor quickly dissolves once the solenoid valve is closed.

The entertainment industry not only consumes ample amounts of CO2, but makes high levels of carbon emissions as well. This can be attributed to transportation, onsite generators and pyrotechnical effects that require the CO2 gas. Therefore the Producers Guild of America has created the Green Production Guide to reduce carbon emissions on various film and TV production sets.

Find out more about CO2 and its effects by contacting your local specialty gas provider Cryo-Source in Portland.