His studies of a continuous process of liquefying gases in large quantities served as the basis for the refrigeration technology. He was able to complete his work in 1876.
Before the invention of the fridge, cellars were provided with packed snow and ice to cool food and serve as a not so modern refrigeration system.
Today most of us have our own refrigerators at home. We have grown accustomed to its presence. But what exactly is refrigeration and what is the science behind a refrigerator that makes it work that way?
What is refrigeration?
Refrigeration is the process of lowering temperature by removing heat from an enclosed space or substance.
How does a refrigerator work?
It's all about the nature of physics. Through compression, a liquid undergoes a rapid evaporation. The rapid expansion of vapors requires kinetic energy. The vapors get energy from immediate surroundings, thus, the area loses energy and becomes cool. This process is the primary basis of today's refrigeration system.
Many devices have inspired our modern refrigerator before it was successfully done as a safe cooling appliance at home. In 1748, William Cullen demonstrated the first know artificial refrigeration at the University of Glasgow, but did not apply it to any practical purposes.
Oliver Evans, an American inventor, designed the first refrigeration machine in 1805. The use of ether was used in the first practical refrigerating system introduced by Jacob Perkins in 1834.
In 1844, an American physician named John Gorrie made a refrigerator for his patients with yellow fever through the use of ice to cool the air inspired by the design of Oliver Evan(1844).
Carl Paul Gottfried von Linde came up with the idea of liquefying gas later.
There were also parts of the refrigerator history where such chemicals were used only to find out they were too dangerous to use. From the late 1800's until 1929, ammonia(NH3), methyl chloride(CH3CL), and sulfur dioxide(SO2) were used as refrigerants.
Fatal accidents happened due to these chemicals. Further research led to the utilization of Freon for compressor refrigerators. It was later found out that these chlorofluorocarbons endangered the ozone layer.
Through the advancement of modern cooling systems, people enjoy the convenience of food preservation without the arduous effort of someone in history long before the invention of refrigerators, given much appreciation, of course, to Carl von Linde with his precious scientific ideas that produced the advent of more effective refrigerators.
Carl von Linde died at the age of 92 in 1934. He had been awarded three Honorary Doctorates, Bavarian crown achievement medal. He was also honored with elevation to personal nobility status among many other honors.
We owe a lot to Carl von Linde. From the simple kitchen fridge to giant walkin coolers and freezers, Carl von Linde helps us keep our food fresh even today!