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BASF to start joint research programme on magnetocaloric materials

July 25/2011

(BASF) -- The Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM) in the Netherlands and BASF are to start another joint research programme on magnetocaloric materials. This new class of materials may help to make today's cooling systems more efficient and quieter. This is the second joint research project between FOM and BASF and it has a duration of four years. "We aim to achieve an even better understanding of the fundamental magnetocaloric principles, which will help us to develop new materials with improved properties and we will investigate the best routes for large-scale production," says programme leader Prof. Dr. Ekkes Bruck (Delft University of Technology).

FOM and BASF started their cooperation in 2008. The previous research programme yielded new insights into the physics underlying the giant magnetocaloric effect. Together with their industrial partners the researchers are working on the market introduction of the first devices based on magnetocaloric materials.

Magnetocaloric materials heat up in a magnetic field and cool down again when they are removed from it. A heat pump based on magnetocaloric materials may therefore be an ideal alternative for traditional cooling cycles. Cooling systems based on the magnetocaloric effect could significantly reduce energy consumption. "Theoretical considerations reveal an energy savings potential of up to fifty percent," explains Dr. Thomas Weber, managing director of BASF Future Business GmbH.

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