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Client Food processing plant

Location USA

Sectors Manufacturing

The challenge

Testing a new alternative to CO2

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a great refrigerant to use when you're processing food. It’s environmentally friendly, non-toxic and non-flammable. Historically, it’s also been cheap and easy to get hold of, as natural by-product from gas refineries. But when refineries shut down, local businesses can find themselves paying double – for a supply that’s far less reliable.

One of our customers faced exactly that problem. After two years of supply issues and costly downtime, they decided to test a different refrigerant. This would mean reengineering some of their processes quickly and inexpensively, while keeping the plant online.

They decided to test a propylene glycol solution on a slipstream running alongside the existing processes. Our job was to design a temporary test system that would help them decide whether or not to invest in a new cooling process. They gave us three objectives: test a new cooling medium without slowing down productivity, discover the best ways to save money on the cooling process, and avoid damaging any stock while we ran the tests.


Project fact file


Supply was becoming expensive

30 tonnes

Propylene glycol test system capacity

80 %

Of CO2 successfully replaced

> $600,000 K

Costs saved per year

The solution

Engineering a parallel test system 

This project needed a team who knew process engineering inside out. So we brought in Aggreko Process Services (APS): a division we’ve created specifically for this type of job. Working closely with the on-site team, they designed a test system including a 30-tonne, low-temperature cooler to keep the glycol from spoiling, along with refinery-grade heat exchangers, a water tank, pump and the relevant accessories. Throughout the project, our APS engineers spent a lot of time on-site, planning and setting up the systems, as well as analysing performance and fine tuning the systems where necessary.


the aggreko difference

You can tell an Aggreko customer. They always walk away happy.

The impact

A smooth switch, saving up to $800,000 a year

The test was a success, helping the plant switch smoothly to the glycol process without any issues. Over a two-month period, the plant replaced 80% of the CO2 in the manufacturing process, saving $600,000 to $800,000 a year.


"Aggreko Process Services exists for this kind of project. It's not a big leap when you know you've got a specialist team on your side who you can count on to get every detail right." 

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