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The increase demand for dry ice and freezers comes as Americans gear up for two COVID-19 vaccines that have shown promise. Noble Gas Solutions in Albany says they are ready as they already distribute dry ice to pharmaceutical companies.
Noble Gas Solutions is the only manufacturer of dry ice, onsite, within 120 miles of Albany. They offer delivery services for high-volume users, and pick-ups are welcome at their Albany and Kingston locations. They provide FDA approved dry ice for the food and beverage industry.
“We pretty much can produce on demand, and we are ready for whatever demand there is,” said Colleen Kohler, Executive Vice President of Noble Gas Solutions.
Kohler says Noble Gas Solutions got into manufacturing dry ice back in 2013. She says this year stands out from the rest.
“We already have medical industries reaching out to us. It’s definitely been an uptick this year over previous years for sure,” said Kohler.
She says the company will see a change in the next couple of months as dry ice will be crucial for the distribution of Pfizer’s vaccine. The first COVID-19 vaccine candidate must be stored at minus 112. Local hospitals and pharmaceutical companies have already reached out to them, and she says they are prepared.
“Dry ice is actually the worker’s first priority. We have a two-headed machine right now. Every worker is required to wear the appropriate protective gear,” she said.
Kohler says the coronavirus vaccine production is not the only factor driving up demand. An increase in food delivery and shipments means more calls for dry ice.
“Aside from pharmaceuticals, there has been an increase in food delivery and shipments. We have been doing more food packaging and assisting in emergency situations like power outages,” she explained.
However, at the same time, dry ice production has slowed down because the supply of carbon dioxide has been down. Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide (CO2). It is manufactured from liquid carbon dioxide (CO2), which solidifies by reducing the pressure and compressing it into different shapes and sizes.
“There has been a carbon dioxide shortage this year. In the last month we have seen an improvement in that. But the demand for dry ice for the vaccinations are definitely going to affect the availability of (CO2),” Kohler said.
As a small family owned business, she says it speaks volumes to be a part of slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
“It’s amazing that we can be impactful in this way. We take great pride in it,” she said.