CO2 and Entertainment in Western Michigan and beyond

Carbon dioxide (CO2) has been used to highlight special effects in the entertainment industry for a long time. The gas is chilled to a liquid to easily (and economically) achieve special effects like fog and haze. Most have seen haze effects at concerts to emphasize 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 then creates a denser fog that stays very low to the ground. Fog can also be created inexpensively by using dry ice. Technicians are able to boil water in large vessels and then put a couple of pieces of dry ice in those containers. Since carbon dioxide does not persist as a liquid in atmospheric pressure, it instantly becomes a gas. Usually there is a fan at the top of the container to push the CO2 into the desired direction for the fog effects.

Liquid CO2 by itself can be used as an atmospheric fog in place of pyrotechnics in Western Michigan. This can be done by emitting liquid CO2 in the air by using an electric solenoid valve. When the CO2 expands to a vapor and condenses moisture in the air, large clouds of gas are the result. Since the CO2 vapor disappears immediately once the valve is closed, magicians will use this type of fog creation.

The entertainment industry not only consumes copious 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. Consequently the Producers Guild of America has created the Green Production Guide to cut carbon emissions on various film and TV production sets.

Find out more about CO2 and its effects by contacting your local specialty gas provider GTW in Western Michigan.