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Ionocaloric cooling: The end of refrigerants?

A new approach to refrigeration known as ionocaloric cooling takes advantage of how heat is stored when a material changes from a solid to a liquid and could spell the end of refrigerants as we know them.

When a material melts it absorbs heat from its surroundings, when it solidifies it releases heat. 

In the ionocaloric method – developed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory – when current is added to the material, ions flow and change the material from a solid to a liquid, absorbing heat from the environment. 

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