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Scientists develop solid refrigerant with huge ∆T

JAPAN: Scientists in Japan claim to have developed an inorganic solid refrigerant with the world’s best cooling performance.

The rubidium cyano cross-linked manganese-iron-cobalt compound, otherwise known as RbMnFeCo Prussian blue, is said to have exhibited a huge barocaloric effect. 

Barocaloric materials are seen as potential alternatives to gaseous refrigerants. The action of applying pressure to these organic solids changes their molecular orientation which results in a solid state phase transition, thus causing a change in their entropy, which leads to a temperature change of the system.

The research was carried out by a team team from the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Science (concurrently serving at the Low Temperature Science Research Center) and Japanese corporation Aisin, in collaboration with the University of Tsukuba, Osaka University and Molsys Co Ltd.

The researchers claim that RbMnFeCo Prussian blue has exhibited the highest adiabatic cooling temperature (and adiabatic heating temperature) ever achieved by applying and releasing pressure.

Calculations showed that a pressure of 340MPa caused a temperature change of 74K and a pressure of 560MPa causes a temperature change of 85K. The directly observed temperature change was 44K at 440MPa. 

It is reported that the performance did not deteriorate even after being repeated more than 100 times.

The work has been published in Nature magazine.

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