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The award-winning Phase Change Matters blog tracks the latest news and research on phase change materials and thermal energy storage. E-mail tips and comments to Ben Welter, communications director at Entropy Solutions. Follow the blog on Twitter at @PureTemp. Subscribe to the weekly PCM newsletter. Or join the discussion on LinkedIn.

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PCM briefing: RAL meeting in Dusseldorf; temperature-assurance packaging class in Boston

Ben Welter - Friday, September 23, 2016

• Members of the RAL Quality Association PCM, a European-based organization established in 2004 to develop standards for the phase change material industry, will meet in Dusseldorf, Germany, on Tuesday. The agenda includes an update on the upcoming revision of the European Union's energy performance of buildings directive and discussion of a proposal to include PCM in the Building Efficiency Standards section of California's Code of Regulations. Two companies interested in joining RAL, Sunamp Ltd. and Renewable Energy Group Inc., will attend the meeting as guests.

Ontario has pumped $5.8 million (Canadian) into the University of Guelph's new thermal energy cooling system. The $15 million system, completed last year, features a tank that holds 22 million liters of water. In warmer months, the water is chilled at night, when energy costs are lower. The chilled tank water is then circulated through the university's existing cooling system during the day. Officials say the system has already saved the university $2.5 million in energy costs.

• Bio-based materials and chemicals offer a clear value proposition when compared with their petroleum-based counterparts, but smart business execution is critical to eventual success, Lux Research concludes in a new report, “Hunting for Value and Performance in the Bio-based Materials and Chemicals Space."

Phase Change Material Products Ltd. of the United Kingdom will be among the hundreds of exhibitors at the Chillventa trade show in Nuremberg, Germany, Oct. 11-13.  

A cold chain packaging class developed by Sonoco ThermoSafe’s ISC Labs will make its debut Monday at the Cold Chain GDP & Temperature Management Logistics Global Forum in Boston. The all-day session will cover the design, development and qualification of temperature-controlled packaging.

Cold Chain IQ, an online resource for temperature-controlled logistics professionals, is now Pharma Logistics IQ. The new site, www.pharmalogisticsiq.com, includes content on pharma logistics, including clinical supply, supply chain security, regulations and more.

Sonoco ThermoSafe acquires Laminar Medica

Ben Welter - Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sonoco ThermoSafe, a global provider of temperature assurance packaging in the life sciences sector, has acquired the assets and operations of Laminar Medica from Clinimed (Holdings) Ltd., a privately held specialty medical products company based in the United Kingdom. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Laminar Medica's ChillTechLaminar Medica, based in the United Kingdom and Czech Republic, specializes in the design, testing, manufacture and qualification of temperature-controlled packaging. Laminar systems are used by the pharmaceutical and biotech industries around the world. The company's insulated parcel and pallet shipping solutions, which employ paraffin and salt hydrate phase change material, include ChillTherm, FreezeTherm, ClimiTherm, MediPhase, MediPorter, MediSorb and the new ChillTech and AmbiTech product lines. 

"By adding Laminar Medica, we are significantly expanding Sonoco ThermoSafe's global presence and providing our customers local access to the widest range of insulated parcel and pallet solutions," said Russell Grissett, general manager of Sonoco ThermoSafe. "Laminar's strong brands, manufacturing, design, testing and qualification capabilities in the United Kingdom and Europe complements ThermoSafe's current footprint to provide our customers the level of trust, confidence and customer experience they have grown to expect from a global market leader in temperature-assurance solutions."

https://www.thermosafe.com/blog/sonoco-thermosafe-acquires-laminar-medica-group/

PCM briefing: Argonne developing cheaper TES system; registration open for ARPA-E summit

Ben Welter - Thursday, September 15, 2016

Argonne National Laboratory mechanical engineer Wenhua Yu prepares to test a prototype thermal energy storage system.• Researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory have developed a prototype of an inexpensive thermal energy storage system that will be significantly smaller and more efficient than current systems. The Argonne system combines salt-based phase change material with high-conductivity graphite foam. The porous foam traps the PCM in pores, enabling rapid melting and freezing.

• In a new report from the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, "Advancing the Biobased Economy," McKinsey & Co. estimates that biobased products will make up 11 percent of the $3.4 trillion global chemical market by 2020. [pdf] 

• "Designing superior phase change materials from lipids," by Dr. Michael Floros, appears in this month's issue of INFORM magazine, published by the American Oil Chemists' Society. In recent studies, he writes, PCMs made from saturated lipids outperformed their paraffin counterparts. Floros is a postdoctoral researcher in the Trent Centre for Biomaterials Research at Trent University in Canada. 

• Registration for the 2017 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit is now open. The summit will be held Feb. 27 to March 1, 2017, at the Gaylord Convention Center outside Washington, D.C. The summit is aimed at industry experts, thought leaders and decisionmakers focused on moving transformational energy technologies out of the lab and into the market. An agenda will be posted later this fall.

David Bergeron, founder and CEO of SunDanzer, is featured in a Houston Chronicle piece on NASA spinoff technologies. SunDanzer makes solar-powered refrigerators that use phase change material to keep vaccines and other temperature-sensitive payloads at the right temperature. Who knew that Bergeron, who was once an engineer at NASA, spent 18 years designing satellites?  

Pelican BioThermal is expanding manufacturing capabilities at its Minnesota facility. The goal is to better serve customers of its single-use temperature-controlled shippers in North and South America. The shippers have been manufactured exclusively in the United Kingdom.

Canada's wheelchair rugby team won its opening match in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, defeating host Brazil 62-48 on Wednesday. The Canadians are using PCM-equipped cooling vests developed by two recent graduates of Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia. The vests were reportedly referred to, incorrectly, as "Kevlar" in TV coverage of the match.

PCM briefing: Long-distance cyclists pack Credo ProMed; CSafe Global expands presence in Europe

Ben Welter - Friday, September 09, 2016

Chiara Ricciardi, Slovenia, June 2016• An Italian couple on a yearlong bicycle trek from Italy to Singapore are using Pelican BioThermal's Credo ProMed pack to keep insulin at the right temperature. Chiara Ricciardi and Riccardo Rocchi embarked on the 18,000-kilometer ride, dubbed "Piece of Cake," in June to raise awareness about diabetes. Ricciardi has type 1 diabetes and requires a daily dose of insulin. The pair have pedaled 4,400 kilometers so far, averaging 50 km per day. They arrived in Tabriz, Iran, this week.

• The Dutch PCM maker BoTemp BV has launched a redesign of its website, www.botemp.eu.

• Ohio-based CSafe Global is expanding its European presence with the acquisition of Kalibox, a French company that manufactures temperature-controlled shippers and refrigerants. The deal adds 5,000 square meters of manufacturing capacity, at two locations in France, to CSafe's 20,000 square meters of capacity at six locations in North America.

Sonoco ThermoSafe acquires PharmaPort 360 assets, marking entry into active temperature-controlled container market

Ben Welter - Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Sonoco ThermoSafe is acquiring PharmaPort 360 assets, licenses, trademarks and manufacturing rights from AAR Cold Chain Solutions. The move marks Sonoco ThermoSafe's entry into the active temperature-controlled cargo containers market.

PharmaPort 360 active shipperThe PharmaPort 360 container uses regenerative heat exchangers to maintain tight temperature control for high-value cargo. The FAA-approved containers are designed to safely ship temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals, blood plasma and other biological cargo via air or ground.

Sonoco ThermoSafe has signed a multi-year agreement with AAR to manufacture, repair and maintain the containers, which Sonoco will own or lease. Terms of the overall deal were not disclosed.

“This acquisition is in line with our strategy to provide the best temperature-controlled shipping solution irrespective of technology platform (passive or active) to meet our customers’ critical needs for shipping high-value pharmaceuticals and biologics globally," said Vicki Arthur, vice president of Sonoco Protective Solutions. "Sonoco is committed to investing in passive and active technologies, like that of PharmaPort 360, and expanding its presence globally in the temperature-controlled packaging industry.”

https://www.thermosafe.com/blog/sonoco-thermosafe-acquires-aar-cold-chain-solutions-assets

PCM briefing: Pelican BioThermal is looking for VP for new products; Ice Energy completes project at North Hollywood movie theater

Ben Welter - Friday, August 05, 2016

Pelican BioThermal has posted an opening for a vice president of engineering and new product development. The VP will "lead a team of highly-driven and innovative engineers to design and develop the next generation of best-in-class temperature controlled packaging solutions for the life sciences industry." 

Appearing at this week's Advances in Thermal Management 2016 conference in Denver, Colo.: Mark Hartmann, chief technology officer at Outlast Technologies, discussed the use of thermal materials to manage the heat generated by lithium-ion batteries. Croda International's CrodaTherm biobased phase change materials were on display at booth 35. Outlast materials scientist Joe Kelly spoke at the companion conference, Battery Power 2016

• The U.S. Department of Energy has introduced two new tools designed to help cities nationwide make more strategic energy decisions based on actual and estimated data and analysis. The City Energy Profile tool uses robust data science methodologies to derive data on energy use and costs for 23,400 cities. The Local Energy Toolbox allows cities to build a customizable list of actions to help make strategic energy decisions.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems has begun verification testing of a solar thermal power system at the company's new facility in Yokohama, Japan. The hybrid system combines a low-temperature Fresnel evaporator, a high-temperature thermal storage system and a tower-type superheater that collects sunlight by heliostats.

• Safety expert John D. Modine is the new chief executive at the American Chemistry Council's Chemtrec division.

Ice Energy has installed four Ice Bear 30 thermal storage units at a Cinemark movie theater in North Hollywood, Calif. Ice Energy says the project qualifies for energy efficiency rebates from the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.

Sonoco ThermoSafe launches certification program for cold chain packaging pros

Ben Welter - Thursday, August 04, 2016

Sonoco ThermoSafe has launched the industry’s first academic offering to train and certify cold chain packaging professionals. The certification program was developed by Sonoco ThermoSafe’s ISC Labs in partnership with the Packaging School; Dr. R. Andrew Hurley, assistant professor of packaging science at Clemson University; and an advisory panel of industry experts.

Cold Chain training illustrationTwo levels of certification courses are available:

• The Fundamentals Course ($295), accessible now, is a self-paced online course that takes a systematic approach to developing a basic understanding of temperature-assurance packaging. 

• The Professional Course ($999; bio-pharma manufacturers get a $100 discount) is a one-day session conducted by university professors, lab engineers and industry experts. The live course provides hands-on instruction and interactive activities. It will make its debut Sept. 26 at the Cold Chain GDP & Temperature Management Logistics Global Forum in Boston.

“The TAP program shares decades worth of ISCLabs’ collective knowledge and expertise in design, development and qualification of temperature controlled packaging,” said Vishal Khushalani, director of global marketing and business development at Sonoco ThermoSafe. “The course goes further to cover topics including temperature monitoring, global regulations and distribution considerations of temperature sensitive products."

http://www.thermosafe.com/TAPCertification

PCM briefing: Pelican BioThermal opens offices in South Korea, Germany; BASF tops global list of chemical companies

Ben Welter - Friday, July 29, 2016

• Commercial appliance maker Rockwell Industries of Hyderabad plans to open a network of retail stores across India. Rockwell's products include a line of eutectic freezers designed to retain subzero temperatures for up to 16 hours in the event of a power loss.

• In partnership with CoolPack.comCold Chain Technologies of Holliston, Mass., is conducting an industrywide survey "to benchmark the methods used to maintain the efficacy of temperature sensitive therapeutics throughout the supply chain." Survey results will be published in October.

BASF, with chemical sales of $ $63.7 billion in 2015, is No. 1 on C&EN's latest Global Top 50 list. The magazine reports that the 50 companies combined for $775.2 billion in sales last year, a 10.8 percent decline from a year earlier.

Pelican BioThermal, the temperature-controlled packaging specialist, has added offices in South Korea and Germany to support growth in Asia and Europe.

Daniel Frey, a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, has been appointed the new faculty director of the school's D-Lab. D-Lab's mission is to give students a hands-on opportunity to design and share affordable and effective technologies to address problems in developing countries. A PCM-powered vaccine cooler is among the projects Frey has worked on with students.

• New from Market Research FutureSoy-Based Chemicals Market Research Report Forecast to 2027

• New from QY ResearchGlobal Green Building Materials Industry 2016 Market Research Report

• New from Future Market InsightsTemperature Controlled Packaging Solutions Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2015-2025

• Membership in ASHRAE has topped 56,000, the highest number in 14 years. The international organization focuses on energy efficiency, air quality, refrigeration and sustainability in the built environment. It has members in 130 countries.

• A group representing manufacturers of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment is pushing the European Union to set tougher energy-efficiency targets. The European Alliance to Save Energy argues that doubling the EU’s current annual rate of energy productivity of around 1.5 percent would sharply reduce household energy bills, increase GDP and create more than a million jobs.

PCM briefing: Research opening at Newcastle University; Pelican BioThermal lands Mexico partnership

Ben Welter - Wednesday, June 29, 2016

• The Sir Joseph Swan Center for Energy Research at Newcastle University has an opening for a research associate with expertise in adsorption refrigeration, thermal energy storage, solar power engineering, heat and mass transfer, and thermodynamics. The full-time position is for 12 months to cover maternity leave.

Pelican BioThermal has expanded its presence in Central America, announcing a distribution partnership with Kryotec, a cold chain technology company based in Mexico City.

• "While the wave of EPA regulation that is soon to come will impose many challenges, the revised TSCA also provides some opportunities that should not be overlooked," writes Joseph J. Green of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP. Manufacturers, for example, "can seek an EPA 'safe to use' determination -- which could have obvious marketing advantages (and forestall potential state regulations)."

PCM briefing: Sustainable manufacturing good for bottom line; Ice Bear among technologies highlighted at White House

Ben Welter - Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Adopting sustainable manufacturing processes can help companies boost their bottom line, improve their reputation and become more competitive, writes Doug Kramer, president and CEO of spray foam product maker Lapolla Industries

• The Global Cold Chain Forum is accepting nominations for the 2016 Cold Chain Excellence Awards. The four categories are Best Temperature Controlled Logistics Project; Most Innovative New Cold Chain Technology of the Year; Most Sustainable Temperature-Controlled Project; and Most Effective Risk Assessment, Evaluation & Mitigation for Transportation. Nominations are due by July 29, 2016.

Nike is teaming up with MIT's Climate CoLab to speed the development of innovative materials and shrink the company's supply-chain footprint.

Ice Energy's new Ice Bear residential cooling system was among the technologies highlighted at a White House summit on renewable energy and storage last week. 

• Puma's new PCM-infused jerseys made the wrong kind of impression at the European Championships this week. Four jerseys worn by Swiss players in a match against France tore apart when tugged on by opponents. Puma later apologized, blaming the problem on a bad batch of material damaged during production. It does not appear that the problem involved the phase change material used in strategically placed tape inside the jersey.

Pluss Advanced Technologies' Celsure cold chain shipper won the innovation of the year award at the Cold Chain Strategy Summit in Mumbai last week.