With CO2 as the working medium in your car’s cooling system, you can avoid scraping ice off the windows in winter.

Carbon dioxide has long been creating problems for environmental experts around the globe. Research scientists at SINTEF have now discovered a function in which CO2 can provide a positive outcome. The gas’ properties make it well suited to providing both heat and coldness in the air conditioning system.

Carbon dioxide has been used as a coolant for more than 150 years. The gas has an extremely low boiling point and the system draws heat from the surroundings via evaporation. This is what makes a refrigerator cold on the inside but warm at the back.

The cooling process “draws” heat out of the fridge and the temperature inside drops. However, the direction in the CO2-based process can be reversed so that the system can function as a heat pump. The technology behind these duel purpose climate systems adds to patented solutions from SINTEF/NTNU attributed to the late professor, Gustav Lorentzen.