Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry

, Volume 133, Issue 2, pp 859–867 | Cite as

Improvement of supercooling and thermal conductivity of the sodium acetate trihydrate for thermal energy storage with α-Fe2O3 as addictive

  • Yu He
  • Nan Zhang
  • Yanping YuanEmail author
  • Xiaoling Cao
  • Liangliang Sun
  • Yanlin Song


In this study, iron oxide nanoparticles (α-Fe2O3) have been firstly used as a nucleating agent, which simultaneously reduces the supercooling degree of sodium acetate trihydrate (SAT) and improves its thermal conductivity. A series of SAT composite phase change materials (PCMs) for potential latent heat thermal energy storage applications were prepared by a ball milling method using carboxymethyl cellulose as a thickening agent and sodium dodecyl sulfonate as a dispersant. In order to investigate the effect of the mass ratio of α-Fe2O3 nanoparticles on the supercooling degree of SAT, various α-Fe2O3 contents (0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, and 1.0 mass%) were added into the SAT matrix. It was found that the supercooling degree of the SAT composite PCM was reduced to 0 °C at a α-Fe2O3 content of 0.8 mass%. Furthermore, no chemical reaction between SAT and α-Fe2O3 occurred, and the presence of α-Fe2O3 had no effect on the energy storage capability of SAT. The thermal conductivity of the SAT composite PCM was improved by 22.5% due to the addition of 0.8 mass% α-Fe2O3. After 60 melting–freezing cycles, the composite PCMs retained excellent stability with a small reduction in the phase change temperature (0.33 °C) and low latent heat loss rate (0.796%).


Phase change material Sodium acetate trihydrate α-Fe2O3 Supercooling Thermal conductivity Cooling curve 

List of symbols


Thermal conductivity (W m−1 K−1)


Thermal diffusion coefficient (mm2 s−1)


Density (g cm−3)


Specific heat at constant pressure (J kg−1 K−1)



Sodium acetate trihydrate


Iron oxide nanoparticles


Phase change materials


Carboxymethyl cellulose


Expanded graphite


Sodium dodecyl sulfonate


X-ray diffraction


Differential scanning calorimetry



The work is supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No: 2682015ZT01), the Youth Science and Technology Innovation Team of Sichuan Province of Building Environment and Energy Efficiency (No: 2015TD0015), the Natural Science Foundation of China (No: 51678488), and National Postdoctoral Program for Innovative Talents (No: BX201600148).


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yu He
    • 1
  • Nan Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yanping Yuan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Xiaoling Cao
    • 1
  • Liangliang Sun
    • 1
  • Yanlin Song
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Mechanical EngineeringSouthwest Jiaotong UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of AerodynamicsChina Aerodynamics Research and Development CenterMianyangChina

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