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A friend of mine wants to travel by car about the EU later this summer. Due to dietary restrictions, she wants to bring her own food in an ice chest rather than relying on local stores for things she can eat.

To keep the ice chest cool, she would need dry ice (frozen CO2). Is this something she will be able to find in various EU regions?

(No, I'm not sure which countries she is planning to visit. I think Germany, Hungary, and Greece were on the list.)

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    +1 that's a great first question on here! However it would be great if you could narrow down the countries in question as it might (and only might because I have no idea) be too broad to ask about all the EU. – mts Jul 19 '16 at 10:07
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    Buying dry ice seems pointless. It would be much easier to keep an ice chest cool by buying ice every day. It is also possible to buy fridges that operate from a car's 12 volt system. – DJClayworth Jul 19 '16 at 13:02
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    I would like to point out that dry ice should never be used in a normal ice chest. Carbon dioxide in gas form uses a lot more space than as a solid. If the lid of your ice chest fits too snugly or has a lock on it you risk blowing up the ice chest. Styrofoam boxes are usually used for dry ice. – Avelina Jul 19 '16 at 18:44
  • @DJClayworth Regular ice melts all over the ice chest. Huge mess. – sq33G Jul 19 '16 at 21:00
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    The easy availability of dry ice in grocery stores appears to be a USA-only phenomenon as far as I can tell. Even in Canada (at least Ontario) one has to go to an industrial supplier and deal with their nuisance factors (sometimes out of the way locations, minimum order size etc.). – Spehro Pefhany Dec 23 '16 at 8:21
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It certainly exists in "various EU regions", however, locations to buy it directly won't be easy to find.

Some food wholesalers and various companies in the chemical field are probably your best bet. Some (not all) of the ones producing it are willing to sell small amounts directly on-site. However, finding a local company and calling first would be helpful; the language barrier will be a problem.

  • At least in Greece, you can find dry ice but you need to search a lot. I agree with @deviantfan . Find companies in every country and call first. – papakias Jul 19 '16 at 12:37
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An Answer has been deleted (I suspect for assumed failure to disclose affiliation) which I think might be useful, so I repeat here (in the version after I edited it):

You will find a list of dry ice suppliers at DRY ICE DIRECTORY EUROPE. Germany, Hungary, and Greece are included (amongst others).

I disclose that I have absolutely no connection with the site and had never heard of it nor the user who posted it (as far as I am aware) prior to the (now deleted) answer. But just in case add that I am related to someone who works for one of the companies mentioned in the site.

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For Hungary, I can help a little: the world translates to szárazjég and Googling that you can find several places that sell it, you need to order it a day ahead on phone and/or email typically. For example, http://szarazjegkft.hu/szarazjeg-forgalmazas http://www.szarazjegfutar.hu/elerhetosegek.php http://jegairmaster.hu/jegair/elad.html and so forth. Finding a brick-and-mortar store selling this is nigh impossible, I doubt there's any in the entire country.

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