Dry Ice Blasting & Cleaning Blog

Dry Ice Blasting for More Effective Cleaning of Reactor Tube IDs & Heat Exchange Systems

Reactor Tube Dry Ice Blasting

For refineries, dry ice blasting provides a faster and more effective method of cleaning both the interior of reactor tubes and heat exchange system exteriors while reducing cost, liability, downtime, and more.

Maintaining the cleanliness of refinery and petrochemical plant equipment can be a challenging undertaking.

Commonly used methods for removing the dirt, dust, debris, and other hardened deposits that build up on this equipment can be expensive – and often pose a significant risk of collateral damage.

But removing dirt and buildup from the interior diameter of reactor tubes and the exterior of heat exchange systems that capture and transfer heat for reuse is critical for effective operation.

With dry ice blasting, plant managers now have a better option than the abrasive, messy, water-intensive methods that have long been the standard.

Here’s an overview of the advantages dry ice (CO2) blasting offers for these two critical cleaning applications.

Dry Ice Blasting Outperforms Traditional Cleaning Methods for Reactor Tube IDs

Standard options for cleaning the interior diameters of reactor tubes can be overly abrasive, thinning  out tubes and welded joints over time. They can also leave behind media and other debris, in addition to water, leaving tubes susceptible to polymerization, rust and worse – part failure.

Dry ice blasting offers a gentle, waterless and more effective alternative, extending the lifespan of the equipment while minimizing the downtime caused by rust and common sources of build-up, which narrow the tube diameter over time, reducing their efficiency.

Dry Ice Blasting Outperforms Traditional Methods for Heat Exchange System Cleaning

Dry ice blasting offers similar advantages for cleaning the exterior of the heat exchange systems, commonly known as HSRGs, that are used to capture and transfer heat for use elsewhere in the plant.

Common forms of build-up for this equipment include:

  • Sulfur
  • Ammonia
  • Insulation particulates
  • Dirt and carbon

Such build-up has an insulating effect on the exterior of the HSRG tubing and coils, which can interfere with the efficient transfer of heat.

Maintain the Integrity of Your Refinery Systems

Effective refinery and petrochemical cleaning requires the removal of adherents without collateral damage to the equipment inside or out. Dry ice blasting offers a safe, cost-effective and thorough method of cleaning these critical components.

At Polar Clean, we specialize in using dry ice blasting to safely and effectively clean refinery and petrochemical components using propriety equipment and processes and the expertise of a deeply experienced team. Our work is designed to do the job with maximum results and minimum risks, including the risk of expensive downtime.

Safe, Effective, Eco-Friendly Cleaning for Reactor Tube IDs, HRSG Exteriors & More

Dry ice blasting applications include the removal of adherents for a wide variety of equipment and applications including:

  • Conveyors
  • Asphalt Removal
  • Boiler Furnaces
  • CCR Platformers
  • Coating Removal
  • Compressor Housings
  • Compressors
  • Conveyors
  • Cosmetic Cleaning
  • Descaling equipment
  • Dryers
  • Electric Motors
  • Furnace Tubes
  • Gas Cycle Compressors
  • General Spills
  • Generator Windings
  • Glycol Reactors
  • Heat Exchangers
  • Loose Paint Removal
  • Mix Tanks
  • Motor Windings
  • Pipe Cleaning
  • Polyethylene Reactors
  • Production and Storage Vessels
  • Pumps
  • Refinery Tanks
  • Reformers
  • Regenerators
  • Rotating Equipment
  • Rust Removal
  • Styrene Reactors
  • Sulfur Deposit Removal
  • Switch Gears
  • Transformers
  • Tube Cleaning
  • Turbines
  • Weld Seams


Dry ice blasting offers numerous advantages over other methods for cleaning and protection of critical equipment components including: a safer working environment, less downtime, no secondary waste, and no need for additional cleaning.

Get Started Today

At Polar Clean, we provide proven and innovative dry ice cleaning for a wide variety of industries and applications. Our work is backed by deep industry experience as well as ongoing research and collaboration with leading national universities and engineers. We have over 20 years of experience working with the petrochemical and refinery industries and can tailor our services to your exact needs. We will also work with you to establish containment and control of airflow to limit or stop the release of pollutants and debris into the air and surrounding environment.

To learn more, contact us. We’ll discuss your situation and problems, estimate your costs, savings and ROI, and determine if a site visit is needed to finalize a quote.

Contact us to learn more about reactor tube and heat exchange system cleaning