Immersion cooling: a high-performance plant-based fluid

A U.S. food company has created an immersion cooling fluid for data centres made from 90% vegetable oil.

In the IT industry, immersion cooling consists in submerging servers in a bath of non-conductive liquid to dissipate the heat generated by the computer components.[1] Immersion cooling experienced rapid development in 2019 with the design and construction of the first immersive data centre.[2] This cooling method is also used in other electronic applications such as solar PVs, batteries, and power transformers.[2] The non-conductive immersion cooling fluid is called a dielectric fluid. Intended for use in medium to extra high voltage applications, dielectric fluids provide electrical insulation and also serve as coolant.[3] Some dielectric liquids are sourced naturally, such as mineral or biological oils, while others are engineered.[4]


Recently, US food company Cargill launched a plant-based immersion cooling fluid.[1] It consists of over 90% vegetable oil plus performance-enhancing additives. The company claims that it provides more than 1,000 times the cooling capacity and up to 60% less energy usage than conventional air cooling. According to Cargill, the fluid offers a superior level of fire safety with a very high flash point of 325°C. Unlike synthetic fluids, it does not self-ignite.


Compared to conventional air cooling with HVAC systems, immersion cooling greatly reduces energy use, extends the life of the equipment, supports higher chip densities and lowers the overall operating cost.[1] Studies indicate that immersion cooling technology consumes about 40% less power and creates less noise than traditional cooling equipment. Furthermore, immersion cooling does not require refrigerants such as hydrofluorocarbons and dielectric fluids have a low GWP.[2]




[1] Cargill launches plant-based dielectric immersion cooling fluid.

[2] Pambudi, Nugroho Agung, et al. "The immersion cooling technology: Current and future development in energy saving." Alexandria Engineering Journal 61.12 (2022): 9509-9527.


[4] Is Immersion Cooling the Future of High-Performance Computing?