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Advancements in Phase Change Material Candidates for Thermal Energy Storage

Researchers from India have reported efficient entrapping/encapsulation of dimethyl adipate utilizing laboratory polymerization into a polymer shell. Their results are accessible as a pre-proof in the journal Chemical Thermodynamics and Thermal Analysis.

Advancements in Phase Change Material Candidates for Thermal Energy Storage

Study: Micro/nanoencapsulation of dimethyl adipate with melamine formaldehyde shell as phase change material slurries for cool thermal energy storage. Image Credit: Immersion Imagery/Shutterstock.com

What is Thermal Energy Storage (TES)

The increase in global energy consumption, combined with the continued depletion of natural resources, paved the way for scientists and developers to create storage technologies.

Thermal energy storage (TES) is a renewable technology that can store excess heat energy utilizing perceptive, dormant, or thermo-chemical power storage technologies. When compared to all other fuel cells, they are significantly less expensive.

TES is a clean, renewable energy storage technology; systems are appropriate for large structures and for hot water and heating applications. 

What are Phase Change Materials?

Residual heat storage devices have increased in popularity due to their potential to save energy by utilizing phase change materials (PCM).

The PCM has a propensity to retain and release considerable quantities of heat energy as it transitions from solid to liquid form or vice versa.

These materials have excellent heat capacity throughout phase transformation and a high storage density, which allows them to be used in a variety of technologies such as power and energy storage, construction equipment, fabrics, and semiconductors conditioning.

However, some disadvantages include lower thermal conductivity, which leads to a delayed reaction to temperature fluctuations, leakage during the phase transformation from solid to liquid, and difficulties controlling dimensional changes during phase transformation.

These drawbacks limit the use of PCMs to a narrower variety of applications.

Research on Phase Change Materials

To overcome these constraints, research efforts have focused on developing different encapsulating solutions for PCM.

The enclosure approach coats PCM droplets or nanoparticles with a regulated covering, allowing them to limit interaction with the outside atmosphere, avoid leakage during phase difference and boost the surface-area-to-volume ratio.

As of their high residual heat sensitivity and chemical inertness, n-alkanes and paraffin have been the subject of several investigations in recent years.

The high expense of paraffin combinations, on the other hand, limits their use in a variety of applications. Various non-paraffin-based chemicals, such as fatty acids and fatty alcohols, have also been created as PCMs due to their benefits of easy availability, cheap cost, and recyclability.

Information Regarding Polymer Shells

Melamine-formaldehyde is recommended as a shell substance among the existing polymer casings because it has powerful oxidizing durability, efficient absorption, cheap cost, dimensional stability, and easy regulated manufacturing.

Interestingly, various research articles have been published on organic PCMs encased in polymer shell substances as potential candidates for a wide variety of medium to high temperatures TES uses.

The quest for acceptable organic PCMs with desired thermal energy storage qualities is becoming more critical to meet the needs of cool thermal energy operating between 5 and 12 degrees Celsius.

Importance of Dimethyl Adipate

Dimethyl adipate (DMA) was used as a feasible PCM for cooling energy storage systems.

Cosmetic plasticizers, the precursor for agrochemicals manufacture, polymeric intermediary, solvents for peeling paintings and resin, automobile goods, and non-cosmetic industry uses are all possible with DMA.

It is worth noting that DMA, as a dibasic ester, may be considered an organic PCM due to its great characteristics such as high residual specific heat, coherent phase transformation capabilities, low degree of crystallization (1.99°C), and good intermolecular connecting connections, among others.

The most recent research aimed to create micro/nano encapsulated (DMA) PCM slurries with improved thermal storage capacities.

Using non-ionic detergents, the DMA was micro/nano encapsulated within the polymer-based melamine-formaldehyde protective film using the in-situ interfacial polymerization process.

Research Findings

The surface morphology of MNPCM was discovered to be uniform and spherical, with a median particle diameter of 900 nm.

Chemical structural analyses verified the creation of a coating over the core particles which occurred in the absence of any chemical reactions. 

The DSC determined the initial melting point of MNPCM to be about 6.40 °C, with a latent heat potential of 80.2 J/g. MNPCM's thermal stress effectiveness after 100 thermal cycles was 95.3 percent.

When compared to the pure PCM, the enclosed PCM had a higher heat capacity. The MNPCMS revealed a very little kinematic viscosity and a slight decrease in density. 

The team also reported that thermal conductivity increases as the volume fraction of MNPCM particles in the base fluid increases.

In conclusion, the findings acquired for MNPCM validated its power storage capability, allowing it to be regarded as a viable candidate for cold thermal storage applications.

Continue reading: Improving Fuel Cell Performance with Nanoporous Carbon Membranes

Reference

G.V.N. Trivedi et. al. (2022) Micro/nanoencapsulation of dimethyl adipate with melamine formaldehyde shell as phase change material slurries for cool thermal energy storage, Chemical Thermodynamics and Thermal Analysis.  Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2667312622000049

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Ibtisam Abbasi

Written by

Ibtisam Abbasi

Ibtisam graduated from Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. During his academic careers, he has worked on several research projects and has successfully managed several co-curricular events like International World Space Week and International Conference on Aerospace Engineering. Having one English Prose competition during his undergraduate level, Ibtisam has always been keenly interested in research, writing and editing. Soon after his graduation, he joined the AzoNetwork as a freelancer to sharpen his skills. Ibtisam loves to travel especially visiting the countryside. He has always been a sports fan and loves to watch tennis, soccer and cricket. Born in Pakistan, Ibtisam one day hopes to travel all over the world creating strong bonds of friendships and spreading the message of peace and love.

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