Freez-it Cleen announces patent award, offers rate discount

By Erin Voegele | January 09, 2013

Freez-it Cleen has announced its proprietary dry ice cleaning process is now protected by a U.S. patent. The technology uses dry ice pellets to clean exchange surfaces on a wide variety of equipment found in biofuel production facilities, including thermal oxidizers, boiler tube coils, stack coil economizers and other fin and tube bundles.

According to Kelly Brannick, president of Freez-it Cleen, one benefit of the process is that it does not produce a secondary waste stream. “When we first discovered this opportunity we had to design and build the tools to reach the interior of the tube bundle,” he said. “If you do not clean around every tube your benefit is considerably less. Since you cannot buy tools to do this, most of our competition simply cleans the first couple rows, resulting in marginal savings.”

According to an independent energy audit completed by the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program in 2008, the Freez-it Cleen process resulted in $150,000 of fuel savings at a 50 MMgy over the course of a year. In addition to lower operating costs realized through decreased natural gas use, Brannick pointed out that equipment longevity is also improved.

Regarding improvements that have been made to the process since the 2008 engineering study, Brannick said that while the basic tools and processes are the same, his company has made tools that are more efficient and trained people to substantially reduce the amount of time it takes to do a single job.

Brannick added that most biofuel plants schedule Freez-it Cleen service twice a year. An engineering study found that these facilities realize a substantial savings each time they perform the maintenance, including plants that haven’t missed a cleaning interval since 2008.

According to Brannick, the new patent is expected to increase business for his company. “Because we can anticipate an increase in business as the result of the patent, we are offering this service at a discounted rate and giving individual plants a guarantee of savings based on reduced operating temperatures.”