Valuing waste heat thanks to the COLDINNOV thermochemical cooling

Most processes, industrial or otherwise, produce heat. What’s more, more than 90% of this thermal energy is not recovered, resulting in significant environmental and financial losses. At the same time, there is an ever increasing demand for cooling and refrigeration in all sectors of society.

Based on these facts, the idea of COLDINNOV is to turn waste heat into cold! How do we do this? By replacing the work produced by the compressor of conventional refrigeration machines with a thermochemical reactor that we designed.

A quick reminder to how a refrigeration cycle works

A conventional cold production cycle requires four elements:

  • 1 – An evaporator, which “pumps” the heat out of the volume to be refrigerated and uses it to vaporize a refrigerant fluid
  • 2 – A compressor, which pressurizes the fluid and raises its temperature
  • 3 A condenser, which liquefies under pressure the fluid, releasing in the external environment the heat stored by the gas
  • 4 – A regulator, which reduces the pressure of the liquid

The power consumption of a conventional refrigeration unit comes almost exclusively from its compressor.

Conventional compression refrigeration cycle
Conventional compression refrigeration cycle

The COLDINNOV thermochemical cycle

In our solution, we keep the evaporator and the condenser, but the compressor is no longer necessary. Our patented breakthrough innovation makes it possible to replace it with a reactor which is quiet and without moving parts. Its role is to ensure an energy exchange between the heat recovered and the refrigerant fluid (ammonia, NH3).

Here, the fluid in gaseous form is fixed (we speak of solid / gas adsorption) on a solid substrate in the reactor. A heat supply then comes to drive it out of the reactor and follow the path to the condenser. Finally, the ammonia become liquid and get back to its storage tank. The cycle can then start again.

The COLDINNOV thermochemical cooling cycle takes place in 4 distinct phases:

  • 1 – EvaporationLiquid ammonia from the tank is depressurized, then enters the evaporator where it vaporizes while producing cold.
  • 2 – AdsorptionThe gaseous ammonia is adsorbed by the COLDINNOV reagent inside the reactor.
  • 3 and 4 – DesorptionHeating the reactor using waste or renewable heat releases the ammonia in gaseous form. The pressure increases and expels the ammonia from the reactor to the condenser.
  • 5 – CondensationThe ammonia is condensed and then returns to the tank in liquid form.
COLDINNOV process: Cold production using a thermochemical adsorption cycle
The COLDINNOV thermochemical cooling cycle

Benefits of the COLDINNOV solution

The most obvious interest of our machine lies in the recovery of heat considered today as lost. Financially, recovering it allows for savings in cold production, as electricity consumption becoming almost negligible. This accounting element also directly benefits the environment and society, as it contributes to reducing the energy footprint of refrigeration.

Our process works without the need for mechanical energy, and therefore without moving parts. This drastically reduces maintenance costs and noise, features inherent to compressors.

Finally, from an environmental point of view, the refrigerant used by our system, ammonia, is completely harmless for the ozone layer and global warming, unlike HFC and HCFC fluids mainly used by compression technologies.


As we have seen, waste heat is everywhere. Modular, our patented solution can easily adapt to all types of static and mobile cooling applications, as well as to various power ranges:

  • Industry (any process)
  • Energy (biogas cogeneration …)
  • Tertiary (data center cooling …)
  • Transport (refrigerated trucks and trains, maritime domain …)
Application range for COLDINNOV's thermochemical adsorption cooling
The COLDINNOV thermochemical refrigeration adapts to a wide variety of fields

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More information on: COLDINNOV Process: Thermochemical Cooling