France’s national blood transfusion service, the Établissement Français de Sang (EFS) – interview with Dr Jean-Pierre Zappitelli

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Dr Jean-Pierre Zappitelli is a pharmacologist and biologist, who works as the senior manager of the Aix-en-Provence laboratory of France’s national blood transfusion service, the Établissement Français de Sang (EFS). He discusses his work within the context of managing the cold chain for blood products

How does the EFS laboratory in Aix-en-Provence fit in with the rest of the EFS and how would you describe your work?

The EFS is France’s sole operator of blood transfusions and its work covers the processing of donations of blood, plasma and platelets. The EFS is France’s safety guarantor of the blood transfusion chain, from donor to recipient. It supports the care of over 1 million patients per annum across France and its overseas territories via 132 fixed and some 40,000 mobile donation sites.

pic-1-esf-laboratories-in-alpes-mediterrarnee-regionThe EFS laboratory in Aix-en-Provence is a reception and distribution point of blood products that have been tested post-donation for pathogens and are ready to be used. In 2015, it processed 20,148 units of blood products (17,529 units of red blood cells; 1,148 units of platelets and 1,471 units of plasma) for the care of 3,759 patients.

I’m the Aix-en-Provence laboratory’s senior manager responsible for delivery and distribution of blood products. By “delivery”, we mean blood products for specific named patients, while by “distribution” we mean for unnamed patients, for instance for hospital stock top-ups.

My work involves ensuring firstly that all of the products we receive are safe to use; secondly that while these products are in the laboratory’s care, they are stored correctly; and lastly, that they are correctly labelled and packed when they leave the laboratory.

How does the Aix-en-Provence laboratory manage the cold chain for the blood products in its care?

This is achieved by maintaining and monitoring the temperature in various areas in the laboratory.

Firstly, the ambient temperature in the laboratory itself is maintained at 25°C. We do this because this is the recommended temperature for the products that are used to determine blood type. If for some reason, this temperature level of 25°C is breached, an alarm sounds and dealing with this issue becomes the primary task that is attended to.

pic-2-refrigerator-temperature-monitorSecondly, all units of blood products – platelets, red blood cells and plasma – are all kept in their own designated refrigerators. These all have a temperature indicator on their door, as well as an independent temperature monitor that is linked to an online map of all of the refrigerators in the laboratory, that is updated in real time with a full suite of data analytics.

The laboratory’s refrigerators have a safety feature whereby whenever one is opened and then closed, a magnet is activated and it cannot be opened for one minute in order to restore the correct ambient temperature within it.

Thirdly, all units of blood products come to the laboratory from regional stock in their own type of container with a “thermo-button” temperature data logger that has monitored the ambient temperature within every container we receive. These temperature data logger are checked using a sensor linked to a PC to ensure that the cold chain wasn’t broken prior to reception. (Some other laboratories in the region use RFID data loggers and for these, the crates don’t need to be opened for data monitoring downloads.)

pic-3-thermo-button-temperature-data-logger-and-sensorAlso, all the bags of products in a group of bags are attached together with a self-locking cable tie that can only be removed by cutting it with pliers.

For blood products that leave our laboratory or may be returned, we group these units of blood products with both a self-locking cable tie and a thermo-button temperature data logger.

Lastly, every group of blood product bags is labelled with a tag indicating source, destination, required temperature and a security notice around handling. Also, every bag of blood product has its own barcode allowing for full traceability.

The laboratory also needs to consider how deliveries of bags of blood products are managed and for this we use two systems: either refrigerated vehicles or isothermal padding.

For bags of red blood cells and platelets, plastic crates are used for transportation in refrigerated vehicles. The crates contain the appropriate type of ice-pack to ensure optimal temperature levels within the crates. Also, these let in the cooled refrigerated air within the vehicle to further ensure that the correct temperature is maintained within them.

For deliveries of bags of frozen plasma, air-tight isothermal crates with extra isothermal padding and its appropriate type of ice-pack. Also, all units of frozen plasma are protected with bubble wrap to avoid any breakages during transportation.

Lastly, all crates are labelled with information regarding source, destination, required temperature and a security notice around handling. Naturally, only authorised personnel can open a crate and this too is indicated on every crate.

How does the laboratory manage suspect items?

The main rule we work by is to eliminate all doubt around decision making about a product. Either it is objectively safe to use or it isn’t, and both of these scenarios are backed up by data, or a lack thereof.

pic-4-thermo-button-temperature-data-logger-readout-within-2c-and-6c-rangeUntil we can determine that a suspect unit of product is safe to use, it’s placed in a quarantine refrigerator until its safety has been 100% confirmed. If this can be done, it then is moved to the appropriate refrigerator. If this cannot be done, it’s disposed of by means of incineration.

Also, any such suspect product, which goes on to be disposed of, is fully documented to ensure full traceability.

In the lab, we make sure that the technicians who process the products we process are never in any doubt about what course of action they need to take.

Our safety systems are built to enable any of our processes to stop at any point. There’s simply no room for error. Patients’ lives are at stake.

What are the risks if the cold chain is broken (plus or minus)?

The risks associated with managing the cold chain for blood products underpins all our work.

If the cold chain for a bag of red blood cells is broken, say during transport, and its core temperature rises above 10°C, the risk is that the patient receives a transfusion that is infected by potentially harmful bacteria. And even with minute amounts of bacteria, at temperatures above 10°C bacterial reproduction can be considerable. For a healthy person, this needn’t necessarily be a problem, but for an already weakened sick patient, it can be extremely dangerous. And for temperatures below 2°C, the risk here is that ice crystals will form, thus impairing its oxygenation property.

Similarly, if platelets are stored or transported at temperatures below the specified limit, there is also an inefficiency risk. So if for example these are stored or transported at a temperature of 12°C instead of 24°C, the purpose of the transfusion (to replace platelets further to some chemotherapy therapy) will be adversely affected, which again poses a danger to the patient. And just like red blood cells stored or transported at a temperature above 24°C, the risk is bacterial reproduction is very high.

pic-5-bag-of-frozen-plasma-1For plasma, the risk when the cold chain is breached is that the product will be altered very rapidly. Plasma is an extremely fragile product that must be used within six hours of being unfrozen.

The final risk around managing the cold chain for blood products is around the labelling of each item. This is why we use various identification tools, including unique barcodes on every bag of blood product. During transport for instance, correct labelling ensures the timely and correct delivery of blood products.

When this doesn’t happen, stocks of blood products could be either delivered to the wrong destination, or arrive late, leading to patients not benefiting from them when they need them or a hospital’s stocks running low, or worse running out, which again puts patients at risk. Furthermore, incorrect labelling inevitably leads to unnecessary wastage to eliminate any chance of putting a patient at risk with a potentially unsound product.

Managing these risks is why for every unit of blood product, there has to be absolute certainty regarding where it’s come from and what its destination is. There’s no room for any grey areas in our work. We only work with 100% certainty around the safety protocols for the blood products we process.

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HANTEMP Controls Announces Pressure Regulator Line

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WESTMONT, IL – HANTEMP Controls has unveiled a new line of stainless steel control valves & modules for pressure, temperature, and liquid control. The A4t Pressure Regulators and S4A Solenoid Valves feature stainless steel construction which avoids rusting, and are suitable for a wide range of industrial refrigeration applications including cold storage warehouses, food & beverage production plants, liquid chillers, and marine refrigeration.

A4St Flanged Regulator with Electric Shut-Off

A4St Flanged Regulator with Electric Shut-Off

Functionally and dimensionally, the A4t line replaces similar models from traditional steel & iron valve manufacturers. The available configurations provide precise modulation in many refrigeration applications: pressure, electric shut-off, electric wide opening, defrost relief, outlet pressure, temperature, dual pressure, plus solenoid valves for liquid, suction, or hot gas.

HANTEMP Controls is an established manufacturer of stainless steel actuated ball valves, flanges & flange unions, and float switches for industrial refrigeration systems. For more information about the innovative product line, please visit www.hantempcontrols.com

Contact: Kevin Kilbride

Marketing Coordinator

kkilbride@hantempcontrols.com

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HANTEMP Controls Adds Threaded Stainless Steel Flanges

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WESTMONT, IL – HANTEMP Controls, a manufacturer of stainless steel controls for
refrigeration applications, has extended its line of stainless steel refrigeration flanges to
broaden usage beyond welding installations.

HANTEMP_Threaded FlangeThe EZWLD line of stainless steel flanges now includes threaded flanges that can be easily
connected to other NPT thread components and piping including brass, iron, aluminum, and plastic. The FPT (female pipe thread) flanges are created using single-point threading, ensuring that the threaded joint will be tight.

Threaded flanges eliminate the need for welding capability and potential hazards. In addition, the stainless steel construction provides superior resistance which eliminates the need for costly surface painting that generally occurs with forged steel threaded flanges.

All products from HANTEMP Controls and designed, tested and available for prompt shipment
directly from the factory in Westmont, Ill. Visit HANTEMP online at
www.hantempcontrols.com to learn more about the new threaded flanges and other
innovative refrigeration controls.

Established in 2001 by Charles C. Hansen, former president of Refrigerating Specialties
Company, HANTEMP Controls offers a unique line of stainless steel industrial refrigeration
controls including COBRA-NECK® Ball Valves, SEE-SWITCH® Float Switches and Stainless Steel
Flanges & Flange Unions. With broadening manufacturing processes, HANTEMP Controls
continues Mr. Hansen’s tradition of quality, originality, and honesty.

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HANTEMP Introduces Refrigeration Gauge Valve

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HANTEMP Controls Introduces Refrigeration Gauge Valve

HANTEMP Controls, a manufacturer of stainless steel controls for industrial refrigeration, is proud to introduce the new SGV Gauge Valve. The SGV features rugged stainless steel construction and is ideal for isolation of pressure gauges and transducers. It will be available for delivery in February 2016.

SGV gauge valveThe valve has been designed to overcome existing gauge valve shortcomings which include vulnerability to corrosion and no back seat for stem seal replacement. Advantages also include wrench flats for easier installation, an easily removable seal cap, and ¼” NPT connections.

The SGV is available with a standard extended body or compact body (SGVC) for a wider range of applications, including pumpout and venting of system components. Approved refrigerants include ammonia and C02, Halocarbons, and secondary refrigerants. Visit www.hantempcontrols.com for more information about the SGV Gauge Valve and other innovative refrigeration valves.

Kevin Kilbride

Marketing Coordinator
HANTEMP Controls
810 Burr Oak Drive
Westmont, IL 60559
(630) 537-1049
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HANTEMP Controls Introduces New Quick Service Valve

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WESTMONT, IL – HANTEMP Controls, a manufacturer of stainless steel industrial refrigeration
components, is proud to introduce the QSV Quick Service Valve as the latest addition to its
product line. The QSV is a stainless steel ball valve designed to control flow of refrigerants in
both commercial and industrial refrigeration systems. The valve is available in sizes ¾” to 1¼”
with socket weld or butt weld end connections.

QSV Quick Service Valve

QSV Quick Service Valve

The QSV’s stainless steel valve body is flanged on one end and weld in-line on the other. Featuring a slotted grove on the inlet of the valve that acts as a heat break, there is no need to
disassemble the valve for welding. Applications for the QSV Quick Service Valve include service valve for the HANTEMP COBRA-NECK® Ball Valve, close coupling to controlled valves such as strainers and check valves, and isolation of float switches, oil pots and liquid level columns.

Additional features include a ¼” gauge port for oil draining and pump out, a full 90° rotation from open to close and a provided seal cap for insulation. Stainless steel trim is also included.

The QSV Quick Service Valve joins the COBRA-NECK® Ball Valves, “SEE-SWITCH”® Float Switches, and EZWLD Flanges in HANTEMP’s product line of innovative stainless steel controls and components for industrial refrigeration.

Established in 2001 by Charles C. Hansen, former president of Refrigerating Specialties Company and founder of Hansen Technologies Corporation, HANTEMP Controls offers a unique line of stainless steel industrial refrigeration controls including COBRA-NECK® Ball Valves, “SEE-
SWITCH”® Float Switches and EZWLD Stainless Steel flanges. With professional industry
memberships, broadening manufacturing processes and new distribution operations in Europe,
HANTEMP Controls is dedicated to quality, durability and originality. For more information,
please visit www.hantempcontrols.com

Contact: Kevin Kilbride
June 2015 Marketing Coordinator
kkilbride@hantempcontrols.com
810 Burr Oak Drive, Westmont, Il.
(630) 537-1049

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CRTS ‘pin-drop’ control with Verilocation vehicle tracking

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Cornwall Refrigerated Transport Services report greater visibility and control for their Cornwall and West Devon operations since installing real-time GPS tracking from Verilocation Tracking Solutions.

150915 - CRTS 'pin-drop' control with Verilocation vehicle trackingBased in Bodmin, Cornwall, CRTS provide quick-response, 24 hour assistance for all temperature controlled transport, including sea containers, portable cold stores and drilling rigs. Aside from fridge repairs and maintenance servicing, CRTS also offers a service and repair facility for bus and coach air–conditioning, refrigerated trailer rental and refrigerated vehicle bodywork repairs.

“With such a diverse range of services and a relatively wide area to cover, we realised that a more efficient method of tracking and planning our jobs was required for our mobile workshop fleet” says Managing Director of CRTS, Tim Edwards. “That is where Verilocation came in.”

With the Verilocation ‘Pin-Drop’ facility, CRTS can instantly flag locations across the counties and more accurately provide customers with an estimated arrival time for their breakdown or service requirement. A quick reference to the control screen will determine the location of each service vehicle and the optimum route and journey time can be determined from here. This provides the company with much greater visibility of fleet and accountability to their customers.

“We can also monitor all of our vehicle activities, including speed, mileage, idling and, of course, location, at any time”, continues Tim. “This is an asset, not just for keeping an eye on the fleet but also for monitoring driver behaviour. The tracking system produces an ongoing ‘score’ for each driver which has encouraged a sense of competition among the engineers to be the best. The effect has been to educate on more economic driving styles, maintain an efficient level of service and also to help keep vehicle running costs down.”

CRTS is also able to download historical location and journey information from each service vehicle remotely at any time. “As we provide a 24 hour service, there is always an engineer on standby. Using the tracking reports we can see if an engineer has been called out during the night which means we do not have to disturb them during their rest period, but still know exactly where they have been working and when. We simply log-in and retrieve the information.” Adds Tim.

After seeing the benefits of the Verilocation system for themselves and their customers and recognising the growing need for full fleet visibility and security, CRTS decided to expand their services. The Company now offers a wide range of vehicle electrical and transport solutions, including tracking services and temperature monitoring with Verilocation.

“We strive to provide a broad range of services and the Verilocation temperature monitoring system is particularly relevant for many of our existing customers who deliver temperature sensitive goods.” Available through CRTS, the system enables operators to monitor the load temperature of any vehicle in real time. “Via SMS or email, an automatic alert can be sent to the operator’s control office with information regarding any deviations from the fridge’s defined set points.” Additionally, the system notifies when doors are open and for how long. All useful information, which provides a proof-of-journey audit whenever it might be required.
ends.

Further Information
Verilocation was established in 1999 and remains a family owned business with no external shareholders.
The company provides a wide range of bespoke programmes to enhance vehicle fleet efficiency with improved management control, including: Vehicle and trailer tracking using GPS; temperature monitoring for food distribution; full CANbus engine management system interface; geofencing; data retrieval and storage; driver behaviour monitoring; real-time tachograph monitoring; driver ‘dashboard’ control systems.
Fleet management control packages can be installed without interruption to existing traffic office arrangements and contracts are typically available from 3 to 5 years. Verilocation also provides a one-to-one technical helpline for all customers.

Contact Information
Verilocation Limited
24-26 Queensbridge Old Bedford Road
Northampton NN4 7BF
Tel: 01604 859854
Email: sales@verilocation.com

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Ginny Paton

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Ginny Paton MD at House PR in London has done an interview with Gorkana:

Her website is here ginnypaton.co.uk and here ginnypaton.com

Ginny Paton on the social media platforms: http://ginnypaton.co.uk/about/

Extract:

Ginny Paton, MD at House PR, on winning a new client via Twitter, why she’d love to reinvent the Post Office and wanting to schmooze with Robert Peston.

When not in the office you’ll mostly find me… At home with the kids, generally in goal having a ball kicked at me.

Working in PR is… Great fun – and never boring. We get to be involved in all the best bits of our clients’ brand plans. There for all the exciting stuff, like new product launches, anniversaries, ambassador programmes, announcements. And we probably get to duck some of the more mundane bits of our clients’ roles.

Which social media platform has changed your life? Probably Twitter, but I think they all have in different ways. The first time we won a new client via Twitter was a great moment for the agency, and cemented its power commercially for us.

If I could breathe new life into a brand, it would be… The Post Office. Previously much loved and relied upon. There is a huge amount of equity in the brand and it still has a place on the high street and in all our hearts. But reinvention is critical; it needs to modernise, keep up and embrace new digital opportunities.

The most important lesson PR has taught me… Say yes to things – you never know where opportunities will lead you. Particularly at a junior level – say yes to everything, unless there is a very good reason not to. That, and be very careful about who is listening! –

See more at: http://gorkana.com/news/corporate-and-financial/behind-the-headlines/behind-the-headlines-with-ginny-paton/#sthash.ubz51fPC.dpuf

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RS Components introduces Timestrip indicators for convenient asset monitoring and maintenance

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Smart chemistry provides accurate, intuitive, at-a-glance time or time/temperature alerts in a convenient single-use label

OXFORD, UK, July, 2015 RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE:ECM), the global distributor for engineers, has introduced Timestrip time lapse indicators which are visual reminders for timely replacement or servicing and Timestrip PLUS temperature-threshold indicators, which enable convenient and cost-effective monitoring of temperature sensitive perishables.

Patent protected Timestrip time lapse indicators are activated with finger pressure and fixed like a label to the item being monitored. A red colour moves irreversibly against a scale to reach the end when the specified duration expires. 1, 3, 6, and 12-month versions are available, accurate to within ±15% (when used at room temperature), making them ideal for numerous professional and domestic applications. These include simple visual reminders to replace filters or other components in accordance with manufacturer-recommended cycles, or to perform regular maintenance such as heater descaling, inspection of electrical appliances, or servicing of industrial equipment.

Timestrip PLUS temperature-threshold indicators irreversibly show the length of time an item has been exposed above a pre-set temperature threshold. They are ideal for verifying compliance with regulated standards and are used widely for monitoring products whose quality or fitness for use is affected by excess temperature such as pharmaceuticals, perishables such as foodstuffs, and industrial or laboratory chemicals.  Temperature and time indications are accurate to within ±1°C and ±15% respectively.  They are inert until activated and each unit has a unique serial code, which helps manage large numbers of assets. Thresholds of 8C, 10C, 25C and 30C are available.

Compared to alternatives such as written maintenance sheets or electronic reminders, Timestrip indicators are direct, intuitive, and provide an instantaneous at-a-glance indication when action is due or if storage conditions have been breached. They are splashproof, can be stored unused at room temperature, and can be self-affixed to individual products or on packs or pallets.  These compelling and cost-effective indicators support efforts to maximise product quality or improve the performance and reliability of a wide range of equipment, resulting in better end-user experiences.

-Ends-

About RS Components

RS Components and Allied Electronics are the trading brands of Electrocomponents plc, the global distributor for engineers. With operations in 32 countries, we offer more than 500,000 products through the internet, catalogues and at trade counters to over one million customers, shipping around 44,000 parcels a day. Our products, sourced from 2,500 leading suppliers, include electronic components, electrical, automation and control, and test and measurement equipment, and engineering tools and consumables.

Electrocomponents is listed on the London Stock Exchange and in the last financial year ended 31 March 2015 had revenues of £1.27bn.

For more information, please visit the website at www.rs-online.com.

Editorial Contacts:                                                            

Lisa Townsend

PR Manager – EMEA

RS Components

lisa.townsend@rs-components.com

+44 (0)1536 209026

Joanne Youson
Product Marketing PR Manager
RS Components
joanne.youson@rs-components.com
+44 (0) 1536 405752

PR Agency Contact:

Janice Fenton

Account Director

Publitek Technology PR

janice.fenton@publitek.com

+44 (0) 1225 470000

Further information is available via these links:

Twitter: @RSComponents; @alliedelec; @designsparkRS

RS Components on Linkedin

http://www.linkedin.com/company/rs-components

 

Relevant Links:

Electrocomponents plc

www.electrocomponents.com

RS Components

www.rs-online.com

DesignSpark

http://www.designspark.com

 

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What the “cold economy” means for a warming world

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How we meet the world’s demand to keep things cool has major implications for the entire planet.

Editor’s note: This story is co-published with GreenBiz, a resource of environmental information, tools and data aimed at the mainstream business community.

The modern world is cold. From air conditioning to temperature-controlled pharmaceuticals production to data center cooling to the vast global “cold chain” of refrigerated food transportation and storage, the ability to create low temperatures at will has become a hallmark of advanced societies.

And the demand for cold is on the rise. Urbanization is dramatically transforming economies around the world, resulting in a booming middle class that wants the convenience and utility of refrigeration and air conditioning. Currently in the developing world, an estimated 30 percent to 40 percent of food is lost before it can even make it to market. With an expanded cold chain, farmers can earn more money by transporting their crops in refrigerated trucks, and families will be able to buy better-preserved foods at grocery stores. Many stand to benefit from increased access to cooling systems.

But keeping things cold also places a heavy burden on the environment, most importantly because it’s energy intensive. Experts say that more attention needs to be paid to improving efficiency of cooling systems, especially in the cold chain for food — by far the most significant user of cooling, accounting for an estimated 15 percent of all electricity consumed worldwide. “The most important impact of refrigeration for the climate is energy consumption of the systems,” says Didier Coulomb, director of the International Institute of Refrigeration. From cold storage on farms to refrigerated shipping to cold displays in retail outlets to refrigerators in homes, it’s estimated that about 70 percent of the food in the U.S. travels through the cold chain. Countries such as China and India are expected to reach similar numbers in coming years, and most of these systems still depend largely on diesel fuel.

In the UK, the Dearman engine company is focusing on reducing the energy required by a critical and growing link in that cold chain: refrigerated trucks. There are roughly 2 million refrigerated trucks worldwide today, according to Tim Fox, Dearman’s international ambassador. By 2025, that number could be close to 10 million, according to a report from the company, each truck using up to 20 percent of its fuel powering refrigerator units.

“If we continue to provide that transport refrigeration based on the business-as-usual diesel solution, the environmental degradation in terms of air quality and the subsequent impact on health in the middle of rapidly urbanizing areas is going to become quite substantial,” Fox says.

Dearman has developed a new engine for truck refrigerators that uses liquid nitrogen and produces zero greenhouse gas emissions. A field trial is underway and Dearman expects to have some engines on UK grocery trucks in 2016. With a company factory able to produce at least 10,000 engines annually by 2018, Fox expects to see them in all developed countries by the early 2020s, and growth by then in places still building out their cold chains, such as China, India and Malaysia.

Beyond food, people will also increasingly look for ways to keep themselves cool in a warming world. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects that demand for air conditioning in emerging-market economies will have a significant impact on energy use worldwide, jumping from about 300 terawatt-hours in the year 2000 to more than 10,000 in 2100. New building designs that incorporate passive cooling can cut down some of that demand, but the hot and humid parts of the developing world will likely rely on energy-intensive cooling, meaning that systems requiring less energy can have an enormous impact.

“We have to improve the quality of energy efficient systems and the development of adaptive systems for developing countries,” Coulomb says.

With that in mind and with more than half of the world’s best-selling drugs expected to require cold chain protection by 2016, companies like Pelican BioThermal are developing reusable temperature-controlled shipping containers with recyclable vacuum-insulated panels that reduce global warming potential by 75 percent and post-consumer waste by 95 percent. And, there’s even a community-based health services organization in Africa that began using solar-powered cooler units mounted on camels to deliver medical supplies to remote communities in Kenya and Ethiopia.

Refrigerant Emissions

Meanwhile, refrigerants, the actual substances used to create cold and sub-zero temperatures, are known as super greenhouse gases for their exceptionally high global warming potential and propensity to leak into the atmosphere.

Dichlorodifluoromethane, once one of the most widespread refrigerants, had a measured global warming potential of 10,900 relative to carbon dioxide, and was eventually phased out of use. One of the most common refrigerants today, chlorodifluoromethane, has a GWP of 1,810, and is also being phased out worldwide.

“It’s a bit of a conundrum,” says Douglas Reindl, a refrigeration expert and professor of engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. “Some of the refrigerants that we’ve already phased out are tremendously efficient, and they’re tremendously effective. That’s the good news. The bad news is that when they escape from these systems they can cause significant damage to the environment.”

Depending on the system, up to 30 percent of a refrigerant’s volume leaks annually, expelling vast amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere where they can persist for decades or centuries. Commercial refrigeration, such as the food coolers inside grocery stores, accounts for roughly 40 percent of annual refrigerant emissions worldwide, according to the UN IPCC. In 2012, the National Institute of Standards and Technology — part of the U.S. Department of Commerce — performed a study of more than 56,000 chemicals and compounds to find refrigerants with the lowest global warming potential. Only about 60 were found to be compatible with common equipment. Reindl says researchers are trying to develop newer and better refrigerants to reduce the environmental impact, but no perfect solution exists.

The Milwaukee-based Astronautics Corporation of America is hoping it has come up with one solution. The company developed a novel heat pump that uses a magnetic system to cool a water-based liquid, replacing harmful gas refrigerants and showing major improvements in energy efficiency compared with traditional compressor technology.

The growing cold economy is a complex issue, further complicated by a growing and warming world. Like many problems we face today, it will take some combination of doing things better and discovering new, high- and low-tech solutions to provide all people with the benefits only a portion of the world’s population has seen to date.View Ensia homepage

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