After several years working in both civilian and military careers, Jon Wikstrom decided it was time to use his experience to change the world.
He had been working on a relatively unknown technology and believed in its potential enough to quit his career and launch something new. His goal was to develop this innovative technology and make it available to forward-thinking companies who wanted to go green and improve the efficiency of their operations in one fell swoop.
The company he founded in 2001 in Eagan, Minnesota, was called Cool Clean Technologies and the revolutionary products it sought to bring to market were all based on harnessing the power of carbon dioxide in ways that would help businesses in a wide variety of industries to save money and time.
14 years later, Cool Clean is proud to be doing just that. We’re both honored and humbled to be able to say that we are, indeed, making the world a better place and here’s how…
1. Greener Flight
Aircraft material is shifting to lightweight options in order to reduce the impact on the environment. The aerospace industry is specifically developing lighter composite materials in wings, fuselage, and other components that will reduce overall fuel usage.
Composites are made using a sandwich of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) and Titanium called a stackup. This matrix is not easy to drill, as liquid coolants must be avoided since they can be absorbed into the material. While, drilling completely dry creates heat damage, frayed holes at entry and exit points, and delamination of layers.
Luckily, Cool Clean Technologies provides a clever solution for this problem. Using CO2 cooling, the equipment can cool through the hole during the drilling. Since this coolant is effectively dry, it causes none of the damage associated with either liquid coolants or dry drilling without CO2.
2. Cleaner Medical Devices
The orthopedic industry has recently been abuzz with a new metal used in hip and knee replacement surgeries. Titanium foam, also known as sintered Titanium, has properties of being 80% porous with tiny holes like a sponge, making it better for the bone-to-metal growth required for such procedures.
However, if the porous metal is not absolutely clean and free of contaminants, the bone won’t grow effectively, which has been the cause for recalls. This is where Cool Clean’s Enertia™ cleaning system comes in. By using CO2 in a pressurized liquid vessel to clean the metal, the results have been much better than with aqueous cleaning. This is important when medical companies need to rely on a clean product.
3. Safer Dry Cleaning
This may not come as a surprise, but traditional dry cleaning is extremely harmful from an environmental perspective. The solvent used in the process (perchloroethylene or perc) is known to be extremely toxic. It can cause damage to the nervous system and respiratory system and is has been linked to several cancers. As if this weren’t enough, the toxic substance also affects groundwater and depletes the ozone layer.
Cool Clean provides dry cleaners with specialized equipment that clean garments with liquid CO2 as the solvent for the detergents. Though there are now a variety of dry cleaning methods that claim to be green, it’s been proven that CO2 dry cleaning is proven to be the greenest alternative to regular dry cleaning. In fact, we go a step further and use only CO2 recycled from industrial processes.
4. Conserving Water in Car Making
Did you know that nearly 40,000 gallons of water are used in the manufacturing process of just one automobile? When you think about how many cars are made each year and the water shortage crisis in many places around the world, you might be understandably shocked and worried.
Well, Cool Clean’s technology seeks to address that by offering the auto industry a way to reduce water usage by employing CO2 spray cleaning technology. The system is automated to prepare plastic parts to be painted without any light debris, fingerprints, and dusts preventing proper adhesion. Though our need for new automobiles won’t change any time soon, we’re happy that our technology is helping to make the cleaning process less of a strain on the employees and environment.
Cool Clean Technologies is not merely a company that seeks to be profitable or serve clients well. Of course, we work hard to accomplish both of those things, but we’re not satisfied unless we know that what we do is also contributing to the greater good of our planet.