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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

Silica as Part of the Cold Chain



11 billion doses of vaccine, distributed as quickly as possible around the world – the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of pharma logistics. Silica can play an important role here – as a small, yet highly efficient part of the cold chain.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the importance of cooling technology in pharma logistics. Vaccines only make up a very small share of the many different medical and pharmaceutical products that require temperature-controlled logistics. Vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) filled with silica are used to manufacture transport boxes with optimum thermal insulation and low wall thickness.

At a glance: five benefits of VIPs with silica for temperature-controlled transport:
  • Reliable passive cooling
  • Lower energy consumption and CO2 emissions thanks to energy retention
  • Up to 20% more transport and storage volume thanks to thin-walled boxes
  • Low weight
  • Sustainable thanks to long lifecycle of over 30 years

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Dr Gabriele Gärtner is responsible for applied technology, R&D, and quality management in the Thermal Insulation group at Evonik Industries AG. As a civil engineer, she received her PhD at the Dresden University of Technology, Germany, with a focus on hygrothermal structural physics. She published and authored numerous specialist papers, including for Fraunhofer IRB Verlag and WEKA MEDIA GmbH & Co KG.



Carina Geier is responsible for the Global Marketing of the Market Segments Unsaturated Polyester and Thermal Insulation for Silica Business Line at Evonik Industries AG. She graduated with a BA in Business Administration at Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University in Mannheim, Germany, specialising in Human Resources and Marketing.



Dr Hans-Peter Ebert is a ZAE Bayern board member and responsible for the Division Energy Efficiency at the Bavarian Center for Applied Energy Research (ZAE Bayern) in Würzburg, Germany. A physicist by profession, he is an expert in the field of thermophysics, especially in the area of coupled radiative conductive heat transfer in thermal superinsulations and thermophysical measurement methods. Currently he is head of the thermophysics working group at the Society for Thermal Analysis. Hans-Peter is the author of more than 100 publications and acts as a reviewer for national and international funding bodies and scientific journals.



Dr Harjit Singh is a Senior Lecturer in Built Environment and Energy Engineering at Brunel University, London, UK. His research focuses onto VIPs, cold chain equipment, and building retrofit for improved energy efficiency and solar energy technologies with over £25 million research funding and more than 60 peer reviewed publications in the area. He has received research funding from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Newton Fund, Horizon2020, Innovate UK, and several international global industrial funders. Harjit was consultant to Sure Chill Company on developing passive energy vaccine storage devices funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He will be chairing the 15th edition of the International Vacuum Insulation Symposium in London in April 2022.
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