Add water to packet, shake…instant cold
When mixed with water, this powdery substance provides colder-than-ice temperatures, but are there industrial applications?
John Bergida, president/founder of Frosty Cold, had an idea for a chemical powder that could plunge water from room temperature to below freezing in seconds while maintaining a slurry state. However, the first formula was hardly inert; it was actually quite volatile and explosive in nature.
Bergida teamed up with a chemist involved in high-level nuclear chemistry, and together, they discovered how to turn the potentially unstable chemical into an inert compound, safe enough to be stored in any environment and made usable by just adding water.
Conversely, when the cold mix is dehydrated, the powder returns to its original chemical properties. And, it can be used all over again, i.e., producing instant cooling when recombined with water. This cycle can be repeated hundreds of times with the same results.
An interesting concept, but would the powder be suitable for industrial use? For example, could it be used in closed-cycle refrigeration applications or within cooling towers, emergency cooling systems, etc.? What about transportation in hot climates and third-world countries when vehicles have underperforming cooling systems? Or, could a brewer create packaging that would instantaneously chill a six-pack when a consumer takes it on a camping trip? These are just some of the questions FE recently asked John Bergida.
FE: How did you come up with idea of your product?
John Bergida: The original idea came to me during a law class. We had a mock liability case where a guy put a self-heating pack into his back pocket at a store. Then, he slipped on a water puddle, landing on his butt and burning himself. I thought, ‘Wow, if this is powerful enough to scald him, why couldn’t it be used for something productive like heating up coffee?’ I started doing research and found that, while self-heating coffee packing existed, there wasn’t a viable and economical commercial self-chilling solution for beverage cans.
FE: On what principles does the Frosty Tech coolant work?
Bergida: It is an endothermic reaction. When water is added to our Frosty Tech coolant, the rapidly dissolving coolant absorbs tremendous amounts of heat from the water, which plunges from room temperature [72°F] to colder than ice [22°F] in just 20 seconds.
FE: Your first creation was a little volatile. How did you tame it?
Bergida: In the marketplace, there were only two options for on-demand cooling: urea or ammonium nitrate. Urea only drops down to the 40s Fahrenheit and produces an odor. Ammonium nitrate is an effective cooling source, but is potentially explosive and highly regulated. We needed to develop a nontoxic, nonexplosive, 100 percent recyclable self-cooling agent that would activate quickly and have an extremely effective cooling ability. Our brilliant chemist, David Leavitt, has a unique background in the fertilizer industry and patents for neutralizing phosphorus gas and taking spent plutonium from nuclear waste and recycling it. Working with him, we perfected a blend that achieves all our objectives. We perfected the manufacturing process with the IFDC and our compounding partner in California; independent labs UTEC and Intertek have conducted extensive testing and validation of our product. Frosty Tech coolant is safe for any mode of ground or air transport and performs well even in extreme climates of 115°F, where the cooling drop actually increases.
FE: What applications is this product designed for?
Bergida: Frosty Tech coolant is nontoxic, non-oxidizing, has no odor, is only a slight skin/respiratory irritant and is a balanced fertilizer for secondary use after cooling. Its intended application is in end-use food and beverage packing products, just-add-water instant cold packs, ice cream and numerous instant and reusable cooling products.
FE: How would food and beverage processors use the coolant in products they sell to consumers?
Bergida: Working with our design group, Blue Clover Studios, we’ve successfully designed and prototyped numerous self-cooling products including multi-packs for beverage cans, chilled boxed wine, MRE pouches for food and beverages, and Slap Band Koozie coolers.
FE: In what industrial cooling systems could this product be used?
Bergida: Since Frosty Tech coolant is 100 percent renewable, it would be a perfect complement to evaporative cooling systems. Applications could include machine chillers, cooling towers, coolers and air conditioning.
FE: Could the coolant be used in closed-loop/cycle refrigeration systems?
Bergida: Yes, we’ve already designed the layout for a closed-loop cooling system and had the theoretical model validated. The key to making this system deployable is having a low-energy salt removal membrane. Our system doesn’t require the membrane to remove all the particulates or have the resulting water be drinkable; it only needs to remove the majority of the dissolved salt particles. We’re exploring graphene-based membranes and actively seeking partners and technologies in that space. A Frosty Tech closed-loop system would have to be 100 percent “green” and recyclable, eliminate CFCs and HFCs, and be highly adaptable to different configurations. It also would have no high pressures and could run at significant energy savings. Uses for a Frosty Tech closed-loop cooling system include refrigerators, point-of-sale coolers, air conditioning, computers/data centers, foodservice equipment, machine and plant chillers, dialysis and medical equipment, and brewery equipment. With the right partners in place, this could be commercialized in the next three to five years.
FE: For what other food and beverage applications might the Frosty Tech coolant be used?
Bergida: Emergency or rapid chilling on a large scale. Craft brewers and other beverage processors need to rapidly chill massive amounts of fluid. Since Frosty Tech coolant remains fluid down to -5.8°F, it can easily be flowed in pipes and tanks. Other packaging and delivery concepts include kegs, keeping frozen products like ice cream colder for longer periods of time, serving trays and slushy makers, to name a few.
FE: Have any food and beverage processors experimented with the product?
Bergida: We’re on track to launch the Multi-Pack and Just-Add-Water cold packs by May. Our initial focus is on products that can quickly integrate Frosty Tech coolant and be launched within the next six to 12 months. Then, we’ll progress to longer-range applications including evaporative and closed-loop cooling systems, as well as more advanced product uses. We’re in ongoing discussions, testing and development with numerous global players in the food and beverage space. Food processors of perishable items such as fish and produce could use our Just-Add-Water instant cold packs to fill the gaps in the cold chain. We’re also in development with the leading global producers of absorbent pads to imbed Frosty Tech coolant inside their products, with the cooling activated by the absorption of fluids. Beverage processors could integrate Multi-Pack cold packs for aluminum beverage cans [both 355ml and 500ml versions are available] at the end of their filling lines.
FE: Is the coolant now available?
Bergida: We’re in commercial production with our chemical manufacturing partner and actively sending samples to companies globally for testing and evaluation. We’re glad to provide coolant samples for R&D and joint development with parties that have signed a mutual nondisclosure agreement. Plus, we’re available to discuss the deployment of Frosty Tech coolant.
For more information, visit www.FrostyColdTech.com.