A discovery in the field of heat storage

Researchers from the Laboratory for Inorganic Chemistry and Technology (L09) Nataša Zabukovec Logar, Alenka Ristić and Venčeslav Kaučič in collaboration with Stefan Henninger (Fraunhofer Institute, Freiburg) developed a mechanism that predicts the heat storage potential of numerous known or new microporous aluminophosphates. The discovery was published in a prestigious journal covering the area of materials scienceAdvanced Functional Materials (impact factor 8.49).

The utilisation of the reversible chemical and physical sorption of water on solids provides a new long-term thermal energy storage concept, also in combination with solar thermal collectors. However, up to now there have been no systematic studies of the possible mechanisms for heat storage enhancement concerning materials optimisation. Based on a comparative thermogravimetric and calorimetric study of water sorption in small-pore aluminophosphate materials (SAPO-34, AlPO4-18 and APO-Tric) the authors proposed that the formation of highly ordered water clusters in the pores is a driving force for a sudden water uptake in a narrow relative pressure range, which is a prerequisite for their use in storage systems and crucially determines their sorption efficiency. The formation of clusters is enabled by rapid and reversible changes in the framework (Al) coordination and optimal pore diameters.

The article is available here.