BASF Obtains Licenses on Basic Patents for Magnetocaloric Materials of Manganese Iron Family

BASF New Business GmbH has entered into an agreement with the Dutch Technology Foundation (STW), Delft University of Technology and the University of Amsterdam for licenses on the basic patents for magnetocaloric materials of the manganese iron family. Cooling systems based on these new materials enable more efficient cooling in refrigerators and air conditioning and are intended to replace conventional compressor technology.

BASF obtains exclusive rights to market magnetocaloric materials

The manganese iron magnetocaloric technology originated from research projects carried out by Professor Ekkes Brück, first at the University of Amsterdam and later at Delft University of Technology. STW funded the research projects and patented the findings. BASF has been cooperating with Brück for several years within a so called Industrial Partnership Programme (IPP). IPP’s are research programmes where the Dutch Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM) couples academic knowledge with industrial ambitions and links renowned fundamental researchers with industry.

The partners have now reached an important milestone. BASF has successfully scaled up the manufacturing process, and thereupon signed a license agreement with its cooperation partners. “We have paved the ground for successful marketing by BASF by taking a license on the basic patents,” said Dr. Carla Seidel, Vice President Energy at BASF New Business GmbH. “TU Delft and BASF will continue their joint efforts to enhance the performance of the innovative materials.”

STW appreciates the cooperation of all partners involved. Eppo Bruins, director of STW, said: “The adoption of this technology by BASF and the long-term research collaboration are a very satisfactory result of STW’s role in the process, not only as a funding organization but foremost as an intermediary body focusing on the mutual utilization of knowledge across the public-private boundary.”

BASF will sell its magnetocaloric materials under the Quice® brand. The materials are manganese-iron-phosphorus-silicon alloys, hence they consist of abundant and affordable raw materials. These high performance materials feature optimum magnetocaloric properties across the whole range of temperatures relevant to refrigeration as well as high volume stability under operating conditions.

Principles of magnetic cooling

Magnetocaloric materials heat up in a magnetic field and cool down again when they are removed from the magnetic field. A heat pump based on magnetocaloric materials may therefore be an ideal alternative to traditional refrigeration technology. Refrigeration systems based on the magnetocaloric effect could significantly reduce energy consumption. Such systems would be ideal for a variety of applications, for example for refrigerators and air conditioners. This technology does not use any gaseous refrigerants.

About BASF
BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF posted sales of €72.1 billion in 2012 and had more than 110,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com

About STW
Technology Foundation STW realizes the transfer of knowledge between the technical sciences and users. It does this by funding excellent technical scientific research and by bringing researchers and users together in each project. About €44 million of STW's budget comes from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), €22 million from the Ministry for Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation (EL&I) and €8 million in co-funding by partners in research projects. The rest comes from budgets of STW-programmes. In addition to this the partners make in-kind contributions to the research to the value of about €10 million.

About TU Delft
A fascination for science, design and engineering is the common denominator driving the 17,500 bachelor and master students and the 4,300 employees of TU Delft. Ranking 15th in the THES ranking of technical universities, TU Delft excels in research.

Health, energy, environment, infrastructures and mobility are today’s major social issues. Finding the right solutions is vital to our prosperity and welfare, and also affords promising economic opportunities. TU Delft acts as an expert partner for companies and government agencies working on these issues.

About University of Amsterdam
The University of Amsterdam (UvA), with some 30,000 students, 5,000 staff and a budget of more than € 600 million, is one of the largest comprehensive universities in Europe. Over time, the UvA has risen to international prominence as a research university, gaining an excellent reputation in both fundamental and socially relevant research. The Faculty of Science of the UvA is a leading center of academic research and education with strong groups covering a wide field of research, including astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth and environmental science, informatics, logic, mathematics and physics. More information about the UvA: www.uva.nl.

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