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An on demand chilling system: Activated carbon based desorptive cooling

Arena, N, Alpay, Esat, Kirkby, Norman, Lee, Jacquetta and Clift, R (2017) An on demand chilling system: Activated carbon based desorptive cooling Journal of Cleaner Production, 176. pp. 937-945.

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Every year in Europe refrigerant gases with a greenhouse-warming equivalent of more than 30 Mt CO2 are emitted from retail refrigerators. Furthermore, the effective efficiency of such refrigerators is far below that achievable under ideal (e.g. optimal-load; minimum access) operation. In this work the design of an alternative on-demand cooling unit is presented. The unit is based on the cooling effect provided by desorption of carbon dioxide previously adsorbed onto a bed of graphite-bonded activated carbon: in this paper, a case study of a self-chilling beverage can is used to demonstrate the technology. The high compaction of the activated carbon, and the presence of graphite, enhances the heat transfer properties of the adsorbent, thus enhancing the efficiency of cooling. Furthermore, potential exists for the use of activated carbon and CO2 from waste sources. This paper provides an overview of the design basis and environmental advantages of the unit, and experimental and simulation studies on the thermal dynamics of the cooling process. Particular attention is given to the effective thermal conductivity of the activated carbon bed. The results indicate that adequate on-demand cooling can be achieved within a portable unit. However, scope exists for enhancing the heat transfer within the cooling chamber through design and bed composition alterations. Recommendations for improved unit design are presented.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Centre for Environmental Strategy
Authors :
Arena, N
Date : 5 December 2017
Funders : EPSRC
DOI : 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.12.025
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Uncontrolled Keywords : Desorption; Heat transfer; Auto-refrigeration; Activated carbon; Expanded natural graphite
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 31 Jan 2018 12:42
Last Modified : 11 Dec 2018 11:23

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