Thermoconductive n-alkane enables ultra-high shape/thermal stability, durability, and ambient thermal energy harvesting

Dimberu G. Atinafu, Beom Yeol Yun, Young Uk Kim, Sungwoong Yang, Seunghwan Wi, Sumin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Thermal energy storage using phase change materials (PCMs) has received significant attention in the field of sustainable energy development. However, extremely low thermal conductivity and seepage issues are two long-standing drawbacks limiting PCM-based applications. In this study, an alternative strategy is used to construct composite PCMs by introducing hybrid functional materials as support and liquid n-alkane as energy storage material through a facile vacuum impregnation method. The hybrid functional material, obtained from a commercially available natural mineral, montmorillonite (Mt), and boron nitride, possesses high specific surface area and physicochemical stability and can endow the n-dodecane (DA) with beneficial characteristics. Hybrid-functional-material-supported DA is suitable for ambient energy harvesting in the form of latent heat, with a 309% growth rate in energy storage capacity compared with that of Mt/DA. The thermal conductivity reached 0.795 W/m·K, which is 2.01 and 5.89 times higher than those of Mt/DA and pristine DA, respectively. In addition, the composite PCMs exhibited ultra-high leakage resistance at up to 120 °C owing to the presence of a favorable interconnected network structure, strong surface tension, and capillary forces. The materials also exhibited high durability after 50 thermal cycles with a high latent heat retention capacity (>98%). Because of such thermal properties, the application scope of composite PCMs can be extended to the development of various human comfort thermal management systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130374
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sept 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by the Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement(KAIA) grant funded by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (Grant: 21PIYR-B153494-03).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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