Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2017, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (1): 255-261.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201610181

• ARTICLE • Previous Articles    

Synthesis and Properties of Polyurethane/Coal-Derived Carbon Foam Phase Change Composites for Thermal Energy Storage

Wen-Hao WU1,Xin-Yu HUANG1,Rui-Min YAO1,Ren-Jie CHEN1,Kai LI2,Ru-Qiang ZOU1,*()   

  1. 1 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, P. R. China
    2 Research Institute of Chemical Defence, Beijing 100191, P. R. China
  • Received:2016-07-27 Published:2016-12-29
  • Contact: Ru-Qiang ZOU
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(51322205);National Natural Science Foundation of China(21371014);Specialized Research Fund of Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Commission, China(Z15111000090000);Specialized Research Fund of Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Commission, China(Z151100000915074)


In this article, we used coal-derived carbon foam (CCF) as a skeleton material to encapsulate the solid-to-solid phase change material polyurethane (PU) to provide PU@CCF composites for functional applications. The obtained PU@CCF composites were characterized by field-emission scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and thermal conductivity measurements. The results illustrated that the most preferred ratio of polyethylene glycol (PEG-6000) to hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) to synthesize PU was 1:2 and the CCF skeleton prevented PU leakage during the phase change process. Compared with PEG-6000, the thermal conductivity of the PU@CCF composite was raised by 54%, its cycle thermal stability was remarkable after 2000 cycles, and its supercooling degree was lowered by more than 10℃. For electro-to-heat energy conversion, the phase transition behavior of the obtained PU@CCF could be induced under an electron voltage as low as 0.8 V with 75% conversion efficiency at 1.1 V. This functional phase change composite realizes electric-heat conversion under the lowest loading voltage reported to date, providing an important benchmark for the preparation and functionalization of low-cost phase change composites.

Key words: Phase change material, Thermal energy storage, Thermal conductivity, Carbon foam, Electro-to-heat energy conversion