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The use of lipids as phase change materials for thermal energy storage

James A. Kenar
Lipid technology 2014 v.26 no.7 pp. 154-156
alcohols, chemical structure, cold, energy, enthalpy, fatty acids, feedstocks, heat, liquids, markets, melting, oils, paraffin wax, researchers, solids, temperature, triacylglycerols
Phase change materials (PCMs) are substances capable of absorbing and releasing large 2 amounts of thermal energy (heat or cold) as latent heat over constant temperature as they 3 undergo a change in state of matter (phase transition), commonly, between solid and 4 liquid phases. Since the late 1940s, researchers have recognized the potential for phase 5 change materials to play an essential part in energy storage systems and the search for 6 suitable substances has received increasing interest. Currently, the global PCM market is 7 estimated to grow from $460 million in 2013 to approximately $1.15 billion by 2018. 8 Fats, oils, and their derivatives are diverse in their structures and among the few 9 renewable feedstocks available that have melting and enthalpy profiles among other 10 properties comparable to those of commercial paraffin waxes currently used in PCM 11 applications. This has led to the investigation of triglycerides, fatty acids, esters, 12 alcohols, and other lipid-based derivatives as potential PCMs and much research 13 examining lipid-based materials as PCMs has been published. This article gives a brief 14 overview of phase change materials, highlights the studies and applications of various 15 lipid substances as PCMs, and suggests potential future areas of study.