The Refrigerator of the Futurama

Zero-Energy Fridge Uses Gel to Preserve Food

No, I don’t think it does. All of the links I found eventually lead back to an Electrolux design competition, which is short on detail. I think “design” here is code for “engineering a bonus but not necessary”

The closest I could find to an explanation of how it works is this:

The zero-energy concept relies on a biopolymer gel that uses luminescence to preserve food items.

I think they dropped the “which hasn’t yet been discovered,” because cooling something to below ambient temperature requires energy. Those ornery laws of thermodynamics are quite insistent on this. And the sad thing about the discussions on tech sites I’ve read is that the main focus is on the goo and whether it would really be odor-free and not sticky, with very little mention of it relying on magic to work.

But it’s easy for me to get a mental image of Fry reaching into a glob of green goo and pulling out a can of Slurm.

UPDATE (6/22): found this

Bio nano robots absorb heat (infrared radiation) and emit it in the visible spectrum – luminescence. In addition, they protect from ultraviolet radiation that can damage the products.

No, they don’t. While it is possible to combine low-energy photons to emit higher-energy ones, the real process does not violate the second law of thermodynamics.

3 thoughts on “The Refrigerator of the Futurama

  1. i can only think that it just preserves, and doesn’t cool. maybe makes an air tight seal and has some sort of anti bacterial effect too?

  2. That’s a possibility, but it would then be the equivalent of a beer (or Slurm) cooler, sans ice, and it is clearly being promoted as a refrigerator.

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