Johns Hopkins University will take part in the International Freezer Laboratory Challenge for the second year in a row. This competition recognizes actions that promote energy efficiency, sample accessibility, and sample integrity. Johns Hopkins will participate in this competition. The Elizabeth Jaffee Lab at Johns Hopkins, which focuses on cancer immunotherapies, utilizes ultra-low temperature freezers to store its samples, just like the majority of the other laboratories on the Johns Hopkins campus. James Leatherman, who manages the laboratory, participated in the International Freezer Laboratory Challenge the previous year and had the opportunity to conduct an inventory of all 13 of the freezers.
The Johns Hopkins University is getting ready to take part in the International Freezer Challenge, which is being organized by My Green Lab and the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories. This will be the university's second time taking part in the competition. During the course of the six-month competition, which is open to participants from all over the world, more than a hundred different universities and research organizations take part. Points are awarded for activities that promote energy efficiency, sample accessibility, and sample integrity.
Researchers at Hopkins who are interested in taking part in the competition can sign up to do so by submitting their information through an online form. The next virtual information session will be held on Tuesday, February 15 from 11 a. m. to noon. These sessions will continue virtually every third Tuesday of the month until the final scoresheets for the challenge are due in July 2022.
According to Leatherman, this challenge encourages better cold storage in individual labs, which results in savings of energy for their department as well as an increased sense of calm. It is a sign, from the perspective of the institution, laboratory refrigerator that Hopkins is prepared to compete on a global scale, and that we are changing our culture to become a better steward of the environment.
The Johns Hopkins University Office of Sustainability and the Sustainability Leadership Council will host a Hopkins-wide freezer challenge in conjunction with the international challenge. There will be monetary awards available for those labs that are able to reduce their energy consumption the most.
The university has approximately 1,800 laboratory freezers that are used to store a variety of specimens and samples that are used for research and clinical purposes. According to Johns Hopkins Facilities and Real Estate, the yearly operational expenses for these buildings total more than $2 million.
In addition to the challenges posed by the freezers, seventeen of Hopkins' research labs are currently working toward Green Lab certification through the nonprofit organization My Green Lab. This is a process that evaluates factors such as water usage, waste reduction, fume hoods, and purchasing practices, amongst other things.
What is the mechanism behind ultralow temperature freezers?
In the field of life sciences, ultralow temperature (ULT) freezers, also more commonly referred to as -80 freezers, are pieces of equipment that are utilized extensively for the long-term storage of biomolecules. They typically maintain a temperature in the range of -40 to -80 degrees Celsius, which is equivalent to -40 to -123 degrees Fahrenheit, in order to prevent the heat-associated denaturation of samples that contain biomolecules such as oligonucleotides and proteins. ULT freezers are also essential for the transportation of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines that are either made of proteins or messenger ribonucleotide (mRNA). This is because these heat-sensitive biomolecules must be protected from being damaged. In this article, we will talk about the various components of the ULT freezer as well as the mechanism that makes it work.
Components essential to the operation of ULT freezers
Both upright and chest configurations are available for ULT freezers. The upright freezer is the model that is most commonly purchased because laboratory freezer (click here) has a smaller overall footprint and makes better use of the available space. On the other hand, the chest-shaped freezer, which is shorter, is probably going to be more accommodating to the requirements of researchers who have physical disabilities.
Each and every ULT freezer comes equipped with two doors, the inner door of which serves the purpose of minimizing the amount of unwanted heat that is introduced into the freezer's interior in order to keep the temperature consistent. The doors can also be shut very securely by utilizing an external knob in conjunction with silicone or gel-like gasket seals that line up along the perimeters of the doors. This allows the doors to be shut very securely. In addition, polyurethane material is fitted into the walls of ULT freezers so that they can provide the highest possible level of heat insulation from the surrounding environment.
Many of today's ULT freezers come standard with a display panel that not only shows the interior temperature but also other important parameters that can be accessed from a remote location. The majority of designs for ULT freezers include a warning system and a feature that prevents users from opening the freezers too frequently. If the temperature inside the freezer rises too high, the alarm will sound.
Cascade refrigeration is typically used in ultralow temperature (ULT) freezers. Cascade refrigeration consists of two or more vapor compressors that use different refrigerants and an inter-stage heat exchanger to cool the freezer over its desired temperature range. This allows the freezer to achieve ultralow temperatures.
ULT freezers typically make use of gaseous compounds such as propane and ethane as their refrigerants. These compounds have the ability to be easily liquefied and have well-defined properties such as their evaporation temperature. In addition, lab refrigerator these compounds have a low level of toxicity.
Consider a cascade refrigeration system with two compressors, A and B, with A having the compressor with a temperature system that is lower. The evaporation of refrigerant A removes heat from the space that needs to be cooled (this concept is analogous to the cool feeling you get after emerging from the pool because water evaporates and removes heat from your skin), and transfers it to a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is then cooled by the evaporation of refrigerant B in a system that operates at a higher temperature. The heat is then transferred from the system with the higher temperature, B, to a conventional condenser, where the total amount of heat output from the ULT freezer can be cooled by either a fan or by water. Because most laboratory ULT freezers are air-cooled, the constant loud noise they produce can be attributed to this cooling method. As a result of continuous cooling, ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers generate a significant amount of energy footprint, which has led to a push to maintain ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers at -70 degrees Celsius (instead of the -80 degrees Celsius they are designed for) and innovate in design features, such as quickly restoring a freezer's interior temperature after the door has been opened.