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Barocaloric material in line for chemical prize

Researcher Juan Manuel Bermúdez García will present the development at the UK’s Royal Society of Chemistry

UK/SPAIN: A family of hybrid organic-inorganic materials that can be used as safe and eco-friendly solid refrigerants are finalists in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Emerging Technologies Competition.

The materials, developed by a team from the University of A Coruña (UDC), are said to exhibit large thermal changes under the application of low pressures and can be chemically engineered to be adaptable to different operating conditions.

Researcher Juan Manuel Bermúdez García, from the QUIMOLMAT Group at the University’s Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (CICA), will defend the project selected in the Energy and Environment category at the end of September.

The Emerging Technologies Competition is the Royal Society of Chemistry’s annual initiative for early stage companies and academic entrepreneurs who want to commercialise their technologies to make a global impact.

Twenty-four finalists have been selected in four categories – health, food & drink, energy & environment and enabling technologies – the winners each receiving a cash prize of £20,000. The winning projects will also be assigned a Royal Society of Chemistry mentor who will provide ongoing support for one year, with the possibility of also receiving an additional £20,000 business acceleration grant.

The UDC project – Hybrid organic and inorganic materials as low-pressure refrigerants with zero emissions – are based on the use of barocaloric perovskites. A perovskite is any material with the same type of crystal structure as calcium titanium oxide. They are the latest in high-performance semiconductor materials and have been successfully applied in high-performance photovoltaics.

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