This area is for people interested in thermal products and processes related to cryogenics. Click on the items below. 


Case studies

Case 1 - How to choose a refrigerant

Case 2 - How to estimate the refrigeration load for a new food product

Case 3 -  How to choose insulation for a refrigerated cold-room



A list of technical consultants in the UK can be found at the Institute of Refrigeration website.

Cemagref (France) provides consultants with expertise in many areas including refrigeration … and for a list of similar national organisations and others visit the site of The International Institute of Refrigeration.

Cambridge Refrigeration Technology has a range of consultancy services with expertise for industry within the area of refrigerated systems, refrigerated transport and cargo care.

NutriFreeze Limited provides consultancy on food refrigeration.


Industry guides

The International Institute of Refrigeration supplies over 170 publications on refrigeration, including:

  • International Dictionary of Refrigeration: a basic tool for everyone involved in refrigeration, from the researcher to the industrialist, who works in an international environment. The Dictionary includes 2400 terms defined in English and French and listed in other languages. All the terms are included in alphabetical indices in seven languages: English, French, Russian, German, Spanish, Italian and Norwegian.
  • There are also many guides to food refrigeration including transport and distribution
  • Engineering guides on air conditioning and refrigeration
  • Detailed data publications on properties of refrigerants

A practical guide to the cold chain from factory to consumer (320Kb *.DOC file). A basic industry guide, funded by the EC, aimed at people working with frozen foods, particularly in small and medium-sized enterprises. It advises on safe maintenance and delivery of frozen foods.

Information on refrigerant selection can be obtained by downloading the extensive and low-price Guide from The Australian Institute of Refrigeration . The 2003 edition of this invaluable guide contains vital information for designers and contractors in the HVAC industry that assists in judgements on environmental issues and the effects that refrigerants and HVAC systems can have on the environment. CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs and natural refrigerants are all covered.



The International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR/IIF) is a scientific and technical intergovernmental organisation that enables the pooling of scientific and industrial know-how in all refrigeration fields on a worldwide scale. The IIR's mission is to promote knowledge of refrigeration technology and all its applications in order to address major issues, including food safety and protection of the environment (reduction of global warming, protection of the ozone layer), and the development of the least developed countries (food, health).

The work of the IIR is sub-divided between its ten commissions which have the following responsibilities:

Commission A1: Cryophysics, cryoengineering
Commission A2: Liquefaction and separation of gases
Commission B1: Thermodynamics and transfer processes
Commission B2: Refrigerating equipment
Commission C1: Cryobiology, cryomedicine
Commission C2: Food science and engineering
Commission D1: Refrigerated storage
Commission D2: Refrigerated transport
Commission E1: Air conditioning
Commission E2: Heat pumps, energy recovery

Euro Cooling and Heating is based at Centro Studi Galileo in Casale Monferrato. The centre provides training and information on Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating. It has a history of 27 years of international activity with over 27,000 technicians receiving training from specialist courses and European conferences. The website is a useful source of information on technical issues and legislation.

The Institute of Refrigeration (UK) is the UK industry's professional body and learned society where people from every part of the world join together to promote the advancement of refrigeration. The website has conference listings, conference proceedings, Codes of Practice etc.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) was formed by the merger of two societies, the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers (ASHVE), known after 1954 as American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHAE), and the American Society of Refrigerating Engineers (ASRE). The two merged in 1959. The website has an extensive book store which includes the ASHRAE Handbook on Refrigeration.

CEMAGREF is a French public research institute whose work focuses on sustainable development in non-urban areas, conservation and management of land and water systems, prevention of associated risks and the development of sustainable economic activity. It performs research into food refrigeration at its sites in Massy and Antony. Projects include work on ice slurry refrigeration, new refrigeration technologies and modelling of the flows and transfers in the cold chain.

University of Lancaster (UK) The work of the Lancaster Ultra Low Temperature Group concerns the behaviour of materials at the lowest accessible temperatures and design of the refrigerating machines to get them there. This means down to temperatures of 5 microkelvins. Current research is in the behaviour of the quantum fluid, superfluid helium 3. This material at the lowest temperatures is completely ordered. The momenta and velocities of the particles are all correlated, that is, the whole liquid acts in some sense as a single gigantic molecule.

Instituto Del Frio (Spain) is part of CSIC in Madrid. The Institute was founded in 1951, with the name of Centro Experimental del Frío to respond to the needs of research in different sectors of the Spanish refrigeration industry. In 1977, it changed its name to the current one. Over the last three decades, it has extended its field of research to Science and Food Technology. The scientific output is reported in the form of specialised publications in magazines and bulletins.

University of Helsinki (Finland) Low temperature laboratory. The University of Helsinki LTL's main fields of research are ultralow temperature physics, neuromagnetic studies of brain functions, nanophysics, and cryoengineering. Since 1994 LTL has served as a European Large Scale Facility (LSF) in both low temperature and brain research. The first LSF contracts were ULTI and BIRCH and during their operation, over 100 European scientists worked in the LTL for more than 200 months.

The Food Refrigeration and Process Engineering Research Centre (UK) FRPERC is part of the University of Bristol. The core activities of the Centre relate to research into food production and processing and the relationship of these to food quality, safety and the economics of food production. FRPERC has carried out work in a wide range of subjects related to food production, including refrigeration, processing, decontamination and equipment optimisation. These activities are carried out through a mixture of research, consultancy, education and training and dissemination of research via various publications.



Information about European Union-funded projects may be found at  CORDIS (Community Research & Development Information Service). And you can try to find specific projects here .

A search for “refrigeration” projects at CORDIS returns 199 projects. Over 137 of these are related to energy. These have been funded by most of the major research initiatives such as THERMIE, ENDEMO C, ENALT1-C, HydroCarb, Joule and Life Quality.


Temperature measurement

A practical guide on monitoring temperature during distribution of chilled & frozen foods, with links to relevant websites: Temperature measurement in the cold chain  (6.5Mb PPT file, 39 slides. Warning: could take some minutes to download .)

This document has links to articles on more general thermometry in refrigeration such as:

Notes on using thermocouples by Robert J Moffat of Stanford University

The Thermistor by E.J. Mastascusa from Bucknell University

Notes of RTD measurements from the Engineering Toolbox.

Infrared (non-contact) temperature measurement equipment and related resources (like training, calibration & industry application notes) can be found at the sites below:

FLIR Systems
Land Instruments International
Mikron Infrared


Thermal property data

Firstly, try the evitherm data centre, where you might find the data you need and, if it's pay-for, more cheaply.

Data on new refrigerants - during the 1990s over 50 new refrigerants were commercialised by manufacturers. In an article ( pdf document ) in Heating, Piping and Air Conditioning (1999), James Calm and Glenn Hourahan tabulated the basic thermal properties of these, including chemical formulations, physical data, safety data and environmental data.

Research and development data on refrigerants can be found at the International Institue of Refrigeration website where it is possible to purchase a CD ROM of the 107 papers and 4 courses given at the 2004 IIR Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Working Fluids.


Useful links


The UK Health and Safety Directorate have extensive online documentation on Safety Guidelines for the refrigeration industry.

The documents cover all the major causes of failure i.e:

  • Air Ingress
  • Corrosion
  • Design Fault
  • External Event
  • Fire/Explosion
  • Human Error
  • Impact
  • Impurities
  • Maintenance Faults
  • Overheating
  • Over-pressurisation
  • Structural Failure
  • Vibration
  • Wrong/Defective Equipment

In each case there is documentation on prevention, control and mitigation.

Health and Safety Executive / Local Authorities Enforcement Liaison Committee (HELA) also has online documentation on the safe use of Ammonia Compressors and Refrigeration Plant.

Further information on the safe use of ammonia can be found on the website of The US Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration.


Conferences list at IIR/IIF

The 21st IIR Congress, was held in Washington, DC on August 17-25, 2003. Abstracts of all presentations are available on the conference website.

The 22nd IIR International Congress on Refrigeration 2007 is being held in Beijing in August 2007. A call for papers Call for papers and introductory information is available from the IIR.

Recent current and scheduled training events are promoted by the International Institute of Refrigeration


The University of Leeds Food Modelling Club is concerned with mathematical modelling on all aspects of food production and food research.

Here is a presentation on Modelling Freezing and Chilling of Foods given at a recent Food Modelling Club meeting by evitherm member NutriFreeze.