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Imagine being in a container where the temperature is well below zero degrees. For Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine and others that could come, cold temperatures are necessary for storage.
Butler Gas Products Company sells a solution to the cold conundrum: Dry ice.
“We’ve gotten a lot of calls recently from all sorts of medical facilities,” said Butler Gas President and COO Abydee Butler Moore. “Everything from local pharmacies to hospital networks throughout the region inquiring about dry ice.”
Moore said Butler gas is ready to provide dry ice to store Pfizer’s vaccine. In one of the company’s pelletizer machines, it can produces 1 ton of dry ice per hour.
“One of the constraints right now in the dry ice supply chain is that dry ice is very co2 intensive; it takes a lot of co2 to make a little bit of dry ice,” Moore said.
Pfizer’s vaccine needs to be stored around -70 degrees Celsius (-94 Fahrenheit), which is just shy of the temperature of -78.5 degrees Celsius dry ice has to be to stay in solid form.
Dry ice has many uses, including fog-like special effects during Halloween, packaging and shipping food; however, it’s possible storing COVID-19 vaccine doses could be the use needed most right now.
Over the summer, Moore said dry ice supplies were low because ethanol, which is used as a fuel to create dry ice, was in low supply. The levels have since become restored.