Food Processing Case Study #2 – Dry Ice Pellet Manufacturing – Sutton-Garten Co.

printable version of this case study click here.


Liquid Carbon Dioxide is typically stored in a pressure vessel at 250 psig saturation. The piping from the liquid feed line of the bulk tank is piped to a pelletizer machine nearby. Typical distances can range up to 60’ and the piping is generally not vacuum insulated. This system typically results in a dry ice production efficiency of 2.5 to 3 pounds of liquid CO2 to produce one pound of dry ice. Chart recommends the ChillZilla® CO2 Liquid Supply System to reduce overall pellet production costs in applications that consume one to two trailer loads per day (22-44 tons/day).


Project Background:

Sutton-Garten Co., an independent industrial gas supplier located in Indianapolis, IN was planning to expand their dry ice pellet, spaghetti, and block manufacturing. Their business had grown to support the procurement of a new pelletizer from Cold Jet. Sutton-Garten worked with Chart Inc. to analyze Chart’s new ChillZilla CO2 system to improve pellet production costs. The ChillZilla system lowers the temperature of the liquid in the tank prior to dispensing to the pellet machine for improved dry ice yield. The added cost of electricity to operate the chiller and PB is calculated into the financial analysis to determine the net savings. The online calculator and literature can be found by clicking here or searching ChillZilla CO2.

Significant Accomplishments:

  • First ever installation in the world for the 50 ton ChillZilla CO2 system.
  • Chart was able to provide a full turnkey system solution with the tank system, chiller, Python® Vacuum Insulated Pipe and the Thermax® Electric Pressure Builder.
  • Improve the customer’s dry ice yield from 3.13:1 to 1.9:1 (liquid to dry ice ratio by weight), a 39% increase! Note: customer routinely measures yield in a range from 1.8:1 to 2.0:1 with the ChillZilla system.
  • Reduce customer’s overall dry ice production costs by 38%.

Cost Savings Financial Analysis:



Old Tank & Piping

ChillZilla & Python Systems

Dry Ice Production Yield Ratio (Avg. measured)

XX:1 (lbs liquid to lb dry ice)



Temp of LCO2 exiting bulk tank

Avg. measured, degrees F

-8°F based on sat. press.

-41 to -27

Dry Ice Production Yield (measured)

Tons per day


Liquid CO2 purchased price (incl. delivery, hazmat, etc fees)


U.S. Average Value

Electrical consumption for chiller and PB system

kWH per day



Electrical costs




Production Days




Amount of liquid CO2 purchased per day based on yield ratio

Tons per day



Amount of liquid CO2 saved with ChillZilla/Python System

Tons per day



Amount of liquid CO2 saved with ChillZilla/Python System

% per day



ChillZilla/Python system CO2 savings




Cost of energy per production day




Net savings with ChillZilla/Python system




Net savings with ChillZilla/Python system




Net savings with ChillZilla/Python system




  1. Old 14-ton system had a 3.5 HP chiller (system replaced with the ChillZilla system), 26 ton has a chiller (now used for beverage), neither chiller electrical costs measured.

Notes: Average saturation pressure of delivered liquid, 245 psig (-8°F).
Chiller Capacity: 20 tons (one trailer load) at (sat.) at a usage rate of not less than 16 hrs/day continuous for peak efficiency (120 psig sat.) = 1.25 tons/hr.
Chiller Case Study Capacity: 1.4 tons of LCO2 per hour.
Chiller Power Consumption: 23kW. PB Power Consumption: 18kW.



Location – Indianapolis, IN

Scope of Project:
  • Engineer & manufacture a turnkey system solution to receive warm liquefied CO2 from transports, chill the liquid in the bulk tank, and dispense it to the dry ice pelletizer to reduce pellet production costs. Pre-chilling of the LCO2 before dispensing to dry ice increases the dry ice yield. The production savings is tabulated once the electricity costs for chilling and added PB are accounted for.
  • 50 Ton ChillZilla® CO2 Liquid Supply System
  • Chiller: 480 & 230 Volt x 23kW
  • Electric side arm Pressure Builder: Thermax® #L224-18, 18kW
  • 2” NPS Python® Vacuum Insulated Pipe (CO2 from the tank to the pelletizer & the chilled Freon® 404A from the chiller to the tank)
  • Installation completed & operational August 24, 2017

Customer Quote:

“Chart has been a dependable partner for Sutton-Garten in building both our dry ice and CO2 business. The ChillZilla system has helped us increase efficiencies and reduce costs for our entire dry ice production facility. It’s been a great investment.” Pat Garten, Sutton-Garten Co., September 20, 2017.