An innovative solid-state refrigeration system featuring plastic crystals could offer an eco-friendly and more efficient means of refrigeration.
The method was developed by a team from Cambridge using the inexpensive organic solid compound neopentyl glycol (NPG). When this crystal is placed in pressure via a magnetic field, its spherical molecules will rotate easily, inducing an extreme barocaloric effect that causes the crystal to quickly become very cold. The thermal changes are comparable to those achieved by traditional toxic chemicals, but without the environmental costs.
The team is now working to commercialize the technology via Cambridge Enterprises.
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