Updated: Feb 19, 2021
Thank you Finger Lakes Times for this!
"Document Reprocessors often heads to a disaster site to freeze damaged documents in one of its trucks.
Rioch said the company utilizes its patented vacuum freeze-drying process called Thermaline. During this process, materials are put into a vacuum chamber. Pressure is reduced, and the use of controlled heat vaporizes the water/ice. The vapor is then removed from the chamber by special vacuum pumps and converted to steam that is exhausted into the atmosphere.
“The reason for freezing is to stop mold and bacteria growth,” Rioch explained. “There’s only a 48-hour period of time before [wet] paper begins to show signs of visible mold.”
Documents usually spend about one week in the freeze dryer, depending on how wet they are. Paper that has been exposed to contaminated water must be sterilized with ethylene oxide gas. Currently, that process is outsourced; Rioch said the company recently purchased its own sterilizer, which it plans to install in Penn Yan."