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Quantum computing can help keep things cool by designing low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants

By Sandra Helsel posted 01 Jun 2022

(Honeywell) Honeywell recently described how it used Quantinuum’s computational chemistry software platform to experiment with the formation of new, low global warming potential refrigerants. IQT-News summarizes the posting below.

Readily available refrigerants which historically have had high global warming potential (GWP) and ozone depletion potential. More and more, low GWP alternatives that serve as drop-in replacements to tradtiional refrigerants are helping grocery store chains, car manufacturers and even some historic landmarks (like the Eiffel Tower) reduce their carbon footprint.
As more companies look to adopt environmentally sustainable solutions, developing low GWP refrigerants, compared with traditional options, is critical.

Designing these new, complex chemicals is no easy feat. Research and development experts experimenting with possible low GWP refrigerant solutions must spend their time on computer modeling, lab experiments and constant measuring of chemicals’ temperature, density and heat capacity.

That’s where Honeywell is investigating if quantum computing can help. A new software platform developed by Quantinuum allows computational chemists – scientists who use computing to create simulations and solve problems that require large amounts of data – to investigate how quantum computing can improve the accuracy of complex molecular and materials simulations.

The new standalone platform, InQuanto, makes it easier than before to experiment with a wide range of quantum algorithms on today’s quantum computing machines. Working together, researchers from Honeywell and Quantinuum applied InQuanto to take the first steps to investigate how quantum computing could aid in the development of new, low GWP refrigerants. The software platform allowed researchers to model a reaction between methane gas, a simple refrigerant, and a simple atmospheric radical.

Using InQuanto’s encoding and embedding techniques along with Quantinuum’s open-source software developer’s toolkit TKET, InQuanto is able to reduce the computational requirements for simulations and helps maximize computation performance across a wide range of quantum computing devices and simulators. Essentially, it gives companies the ability to explore how quantum capabilities can be applied to their experiments in an easier way than before.

Quantinuum is the world’s largest integrated quantum computing company, formed in 2021 by the combination of Honeywell Quantum Solutions and Cambridge Quantum.

Sandra K. Helsel, Ph.D. has been researching and reporting on frontier technologies since 1990.  She has her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.

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