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Liquid CO2 - an alternative to freon (CFC's) for the frozen food shipping industry.

Cryocon Containers Inc., a publicly owned Vancouver, Canada based Company and their joint venture partner Pacific Shipping Systems Inc., have introduced the first 48 foot Domestic Intermodal container to the U.S. frozen food industry using liquid CO2 as the refrigerant, replacing current mechanical CFC based freon coolants.

Continued testing of the finished model using state of the art container technology has reaffirmed the superiority (proven earlier in railcars) of the system over conventional mechanical reefers. One recent test, initiated jointly with Burlington Northern Railway and their customer Twin City Foods, a leading National Distributor, entailed transporting a load of frozen corn at zero degrees F. from Ellensburg, Washington to Lake Odessa, Michigan. The trip was five and a half days with the load arriving at zero degrees F. Tom Matheson, Traffic and Distribution Manager at Twin City Foods was quoted as saying "everything went perfect" and "we feel that the cryogenic container will fit into the frozen market quite well."

The system, which has no mechanical moving parts, is cost competitive to build, economical to operate, allows competitive cubic space for product and has no maintenance requirements necessary to conventional mechanical reefers. The advantages bring overall shipping costs down dramatically.

The CO2 cryogenic technology was first introduced in the early 1980's when Van Thomsen, then of Liquid Air Corporation, together with the American Frozen Food Institute and Burlington Northern Railway built a working prototype railcar with a system whereby liquid CO2 is pumped into a bunker located in the top of the car where it turns into dry ice snow. Through the natural process of warm air rising inside the product storage area, the dry ice snow sublimates and cryogenic gas drops down and maintains the temperature of the frozen product.

Cryocon Containers Inc., using the latest Thomsen technology, is now able, for the first time, to install their system into thin skinned Intermodal and I.S.O. containers as well as over-the-road truck trailers.

The supply of commercial liquid CO2 is readily available, inexpensive and also causes no net effect on the ozone layer.

Cryocon is currently building an over-the-road trailer for an International food distributor, five 40 foot I.S.O. ocean containers and five 48 foot Intermodal containers for marketing purposes to frozen food processors, third party shippers and premier shipping lines. The company uses established quality manufacturers under license to build the containers incorporating the technology from the ground up.
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Publication:Frozen Food Digest
Date:Oct 1, 1992
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