Skip to main content

Enhanced thermal reliability and performance of calcium chloride hexahydrate phase change material using cellulose nanofibril and graphene nanoplatelet

Publication Type
Journal Name
Journal of Energy Storage
Publication Date
Page Number

In recent years, thermal energy storage (TES) has gained attention for its role in enhancing renewable energy solutions and sustainable energy consumption. The usage of strontium chloride hexahydrate (SCH), graphene nanoplatelet (GNP), and cellulose nanofibril (CNF) additives were investigated to enhance the performance of calcium chloride hexahydrate (CCH) based on the melting/solidification behavior for TES applications. In this work, we develop a promising phase-change-material (PCM) formulation by introducing these additives that reduce supercooling, improve the thermal conductivity and stabilizing the energy storage capacity of CCH. Rheological characterizations demonstrated that the addition of 1 wt% of CNF into CCH produced the required improvement in viscosity and boosted solid-like rheological behavior. Structural characterizations show a physical mixing of the materials within the PCM composites. Our observations show that the amphiphilicity of CNF enables the surface attachment to GNP via hydrophobic interactions providing effective dispersion of GNP throughout the PCM composite. The addition of a nucleating agent, SCH decreased the degree of supercooling of ∼20 g of CCH from >20 °C to 3 °C at a cooling rate of 5 °C/min. Thermal characterization showed the resulting PCM composite has a latent heat of melting of 186 Jg−1, phase change temperature of 32 °C, and stable thermal properties after being subjected to 70 melt-freeze cycles. Adding CNF and GNP to pure CCH increased its thermal conductivity by 76 %. The high thermal conductivity of GNP and its effective dispersion by CNF is responsible for this enhancement. The study highlights the use of biodegradable nanocellulose for the preparation of sustainable PCM composites with improved performance. These PCM composites are scalable, they have potential to increase energy efficiency and revolutionalize the heating/cooling applications in buildings and other TES systems.