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Preparation of Superferromagnetic Lanthanide Nanoparticulate Magnetic RefrigerantsEPA Grant Number: R828132
Title: Preparation of Superferromagnetic Lanthanide Nanoparticulate Magnetic Refrigerants
Investigators: Wagner, Michael J. , Bennett, Lawrence H.
Institution: George Washington University
EPA Project Officer: Karn, Barbara
Project Period: June 1, 2000 through May 31, 2003
Project Amount: $254,557
RFA: Technology for a Sustainable Environment (1999) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Nanotechnology , Sustainability , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development
Description:The goal of this research is to develop a magnetic nanocomposite that will be important to the construction of a magnetic refrigeration system that can operate in the range of ambient atmospheric temperatures and be applied to practical consumer refrigeration systems. A relatively new and unexplored method, the reduction of metal salts by alkalides and electrides, is being employed to synthesize supported Gd and Dy nanocomposites and a number of alloys. Magnetic nanocomposites offer important advantages over either paramagnetic or ferromagnetic materials for magnetic cooling, producing large entropy changes for smaller magnetic fields, having a more uniform distribution of S(T) as a function of temperature, and allowing high cycling frequency to be utilized while minimizing any eddy current losses. The magnetic properties of these materials are being tested as is their ambient temperature cooling capability in a magnetic refrigerator.
The major advantages of magnetic refrigeration technology, with application to automobile air conditioners, household refrigerators, and heat pumps, are:
- The prevention of environmental damage caused by harmful working fluids often involved in existing refrigeration systems.
- The reduction of energy consumption resulting from the significantly improved energy efficiency inherent in the utilization of the magneto-caloric effect. The ability of the magnetic refrigerant to transfer heat during the isothermal magnetization stage is an important advantage over conventional gas refrigerators. Non-isothermal compression is the most serious cause of inefficiency in conventional refrigerators.
- Potentially dramatic reductions in the complexity, size and mass of the cooling unit.