Climate-friendly cooling with a twist | Anthropocene Climate-friendly cooling with a twist

Refrigerators and air conditioners devour around 20 percent of the world’s energy, and are a growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. Now researchers have devised a curious technique to produce cooling by unwinding tightly twisted wires. The method, reported in Science, could offer an energy-efficient and sustainable alternative to today’s cooling systems. In addition to hogging energy, today’s refrigeration technologies also rely on circulating coolant gases called hydrofluorocarbons. These gases trap much more heat than carbon dioxide and can leak into the atmosphere during manufacturing, use, or when an AC or refrigerator is disposed improperly. Scientists and engineers have been looking for more environmentally friendly cooling technologies. Some are developing passive cooling devices and various materials that send heat into space. Ray Baughman of the University of Texas, Zunfeng Liu of Nankai University and their colleagues call their new technique “twistocaloric” cooling. It is based on a principle of change in a material’s thermodynamic properties as it is mechanically deformed. For instance, a rubber band that is stretched out for a while will absorb heat as it is l...

Tronox finally acquires Cristal titanium dioxide business

An undated file photo of workers at a Cristal plant in Ashtabula, Ohio, which federal regulators have pressed Cristal to divest as a condition to its proposed sale to Stamford, Conn.-based Tronox. An undated file photo of workers at a Cristal plant in Ashtabula, Ohio, which federal regulators have pressed Cristal to divest as a condition to its proposed sale to Stamford, Conn.-based Tronox. An undated file photo of workers at a Cristal plant in Ashtabula, Ohio, which federal regulators have pressed Cristal to divest as a condition to its proposed sale to Stamford, Conn.-based Tronox. An undated file photo of workers at a Cristal plant in Ashtabula, Ohio, which federal regulators have pressed Cristal to divest as a condition to its proposed sale to Stamford, Conn.-based Tronox. STAMFORD — Chemicals and minerals maker Tronox has completed its $1.7 billion acquisition of the titanium dioxide business of Saudi Arabian firm Cristal, after settling a 16-month legal dispute with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The FTC had litigated since December 2017 to block the deal between the previously rival firms, arguing that it would reduce competition in the market for titanium dioxide, a...