Pelican BioThermal acquires Nanocool, merging two cold-chain packaging vendors

NanoCool’s evaporative cooling technology gains a broader market


Along with several other recent corporate actions, Pelican BioThermal has acquired NanoCool, an Albuquerque, NM developer of innovative solutions for transporting temperature-controlled life sciences products. Terms were not disclosed.

Nanocool heat engine

Nanocool’s ‘heat engine’ is a the source of cold for its packaging. credit: Nanocool

NanoCool has been providing a variety of packaging methods for cold chain products, but is perhaps best known for its evaporative cooling technology. The technique combines a vacuum chamber, water and an adsorbent for the water. When a button is pressed on the container, water flows into the vacuum chamber, flashes and generates cold; the water then flows into an adsorbent (dessicant) section to allow the cycle to continue. Besides providing reliable 2-8°C temperature control, the technique avoids the use of phase-change materials (the conventional source of cold) and minimizes the need for insulation. The evaporative cooling technology is especially suited to small containers, including lab samples, materials for cellular and genetic therapies (CGTs) and courier packages. The company has also provided a “dry-ice friendly” parcel shipper and advanced insulation materials.

From Pelican BioThermal’s perspective, the acquisition expands the company’s reach globally, as well deepening its involvement with laboratories and last-mile delivery. In the past month, the company has also announced an expansion of the previously announced relationship with Wilpak Group international, a provider of thermal blanketing materials that will now act as Pelican’s Australian and New Zealand agent, and also an update of its Credo ProEnvision asset-management software, which is integral to the company’s packaging-reuse program.