(665c) Low-Cost Phase Change Material for Building Envelopes

Ford, L., University of Tulsa
Abhari, R., Syntroleum

Studies have shown that incorporating phase change material (PCM) in building envelopes—attic insulation, wall boards, etc.—can reduce energy consumption for home heating and cooling by more than 30%. However, high manufacturing costs have so far limited PCM use to novelty products. This work has developed a low-cost PCM through a selective process for n-paraffin production and continuous high-throughput equipment for its encapsulation. The n-paraffins are made sustainably via hydrodeoxygenation of bio-oils. The heat of fusion and melting point of our n-paraffins made from bio-oils compare well with those of traditional n-paraffins.  Heat cycling tests at 40ºC indicate that the n-paraffins encapsulated in high density polyethylene will retain at least 90% of the n-paraffins.  The encapsulated n-paraffins have been incorporated into cellulose insulation and exposed to outside conditions for over a month.  Results include a more than 10% reduction in heat flux through insulation with our PCM and a 1ºC reduction in peak temperature compared with plain insulation.  An economic analysis will be presented as well.
See more of this Session: Achieving Sustainable Buildings Through Chemical Engineering

See more of this Group/Topical: Environmental Division