US researchers are celebrating an important advance in developing a viable magnetic refrigerator. The scientists have improved upon the key ingredient to a process that uses no ozone-depleting refrigerants or energy-consuming compressors. They have been working with an alloy metal called gadolinium, which heats up when exposed to a magnetic field, then cools down when the magnetic field is removed.

When the alloy was first discovered in 1996, researchers were hoping that this would lead to advancements in eco-friendly ...

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