P2 TechSCCO2 Cleaning Economics

Published investigations into the economics of SCCO2 cleaning show that operational costs of SCCO2 cleaning are quite reasonable and often lower than solvent vapor degreasers or aqueous cleaning systems. CO2 is relatively inexpensive and can be reused in most SCCO2-cleaning systems. Waste treatment due to cleaning is minimal, as no waste stream is generated besides the actual contaminants removed from the parts being cleaned. Unfortunately, the initial capital costs for SCCO2 systems are usually higher than other alternatives — sometimes by a significant amount. Findings on economics include:

The high capital cost of SCCO2-cleaning systems can be attributed, in part, to the high-pressure cleaning chamber and the valves and instrumentation required for the system. The system cost is also high because there are no vendors that mass produce SCCO2 systems. Lack of mass production does not allow vendors to realize the economies of scale that can be obtained if demand for the system was higher. Unless demand increases it will be difficult to reduce the purchase costs to a point where the basic payback for SCCO2 cleaning is rapid enough to attract a significant number of manufacturers.

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