This paper explored a new approach to prepare phase change microcapsules using carbon-based particles via Pickering emulsions for energy storage applications. Rice-husk-char, a by-product in biofuel production, containing 53.58 wt% of carbon was used as a model carbon-based material to encapsulate hexadecane. As a model phase change material, hexadecane was emulsified in aqueous suspensions of rice-husk-char nanoparticles. Water soluble polymers poly(diallyldimethyl-ammonium chloride) and poly(sodium styrene sulfonate) were used to fix the rice-husk-char nanoparticles on the emulsion droplets through layer-by-layer assembly to enhance the structural stability of the microcapsules. The microcapsules formed are composed of a thin shell encompassing a large core consisting of hexadecane. Thermal gravimetrical and differential scanning calorimeter analyses showed the phase change enthalpy of 80.9 kJ kg−1 or 120.0 MJ m−3. Design criteria of phase change microcapsules and preparation considerations were discussed in terms of desired applications. This work demonstrated possible utilisations of biomass-originated carbon-based material for thermal energy recovery and storage applications, which can be a new route of carbon capture and utilisation.
Gondora, W., Doudin, K., Nowakowski, D. J., Xiao, B., Ding, Y., Bridgwater, T., & Yuan, Q. (2016). Encapsulation of phase change materials using rice-husk-char. Applied Energy, 182, 274-281. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2016.08.102