Preparation of a Sustainable Shape-Stabilized Phase Change Material for Thermal Energy Storage Based on Mg²⁺-Doped CaCO₃/PEG Composites

The properties of polyethylene glycol-6000 (PEG)/MgCaCO₃, a low-cost shape-selective phase change material (ss-PCM), make it highly suitable for solar thermal applications. Nanosized porous MgO-doped CaCO₃ with Mg molar concentrations of 5%, 10%, and 15% were synthesized using a hydrothermal technique. The prepared MgO-CaCO₃ matrices were then impregnated with PEG to obtain PEG/MgCaCO₃ as an ss-PCM. Samples identified as PEG-5MgCaCO₃ (P-5-MCC), PEG-10MgCaCO₃ (P-10-MCC), and PEG-15MgCaCO₃ (P-15-MCC) were prepared and studied. Interestingly, P-10-MCC has the smallest particle size together with a good porous structure compared to the other two materials. The results of thermogravimetric analyses and differential scanning calorimetry indicate that the small particle size and porous structure facilitate the impregnation of approximately 69% of the PEG into the 10-MCC matrix. The latent heat and energy storage efficiency of PEG in the P-10-MCC sample are 152.5 J/g and 96.48%, respectively, which are significantly higher than those of comparable materials. Furthermore, in addition to the improvement of the thermal conductivity of the P-10-MCC, its supercooling is also reduced to some extent. The combined mesoporous and macro-porous structure of P-10-MCC is critical to retaining a large amount of PEG within the matrix, resulting in a high latent heat in the operating temperature range of 35–57 C. The P-10MCC sample also demonstrates a high energy storage capacity (98.59%), high thermal energy storage/release rates, and exceptional shape-stabilized PCMproperties.

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