Dry ice has been in use for a long time to deliver one of Turkey’s favorite sweet treats, Kahramanmaraş ice cream. Now, the same company that helped millions get their summer staple is working to ensure that the public receives their coronavirus vaccines unspoiled.
LY Holding, a Turkish-German partnership, is responsible for supplying dry ice for the transportation of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine in Germany. The vaccine, a joint project of Turkish-German scientists Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci, taps into dry cold-chain logistics endorsed with dry ice.
Sami Kervancıoğlu, a partner of the Turkish family that co-owns LY, runs a similar factory like the one in Germany in Turkey's southern province of Kahramanmaraş, home to the famously thick ice cream. “We can use the same technology in Turkey for transportation of vaccines,” Kervancıoğlu said.
Dry ice, with a temperature of minus 78 degrees Celsius (minus 109.2 degrees Fahrenheit), ensures safe transportation of vaccines that should be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius. Kervancıoğlu set up a dry ice facility in the Pazarcık district of Kahramanmaraş with the Turkish partners of LY who hail from the same district. Liquid carbon dioxide gas is converted into dry ice at the facility and is mainly used in the food and medical sector. The facility can produce 6 tons of dry ice daily.
“In Kahramanmaraş, it is mostly used for delivery of ice cream produced here to other cities. It keeps ice cream from melting for up to 72 hours. We produce the same ice in Germany for vaccines. If the Health Ministry of Turkey asks for help, we can provide dry ice,” he told Demirören News Agency (DHA) on Friday.
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