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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Solid wood impregnated with a bio-based phase change material for low temperature energy storage in building application

Nazari, Meysam; Jebrane, Mohamed; Terziev, Nasko


Wood impregnated with a multicomponent mixture of fatty acids as a bio-based phase change material (BPCM) to improve its thermal characteristics was studied. The studied wood/BPCM composites can be used as internal elements in buildings for energy storage. Scots pine and beech sapwood were impregnated with a multicomponent mixture of linoleic acid and coconut oil fatty acids at a ratio of 20:80. Leakage test was conducted and revealed that the maximum leakage for pine and beech were 9 and 8%, respectively. Light microscopy was employed to demonstrate the distribution of the BPCM in the wood structure. Rays in both pine and beech wood served as pathways for impregnation of the BPCM to partly fill the tracheid lumens (pine) and vessels (beech). Thermal characterization of the studied samples employed T-history and DSC methods, concluding that the impregnated wood had significant thermal mass, ability to store excessive energy in terms of latent heat and keep the temperature constant for long time. The specific heat capacity of the impregnated samples was 4-5 J g(-1) K-1 i.e., higher than that of the untreated control samples of ca. 2 J g(-1) K-1. The thermal conductivity of the samples before and after the impregnation was measured using heat flow meter method and the results showed that the untreated beech wood had higher thermal conductivity compared to pine and the parameter improved when the cell lumens were filled with the BPCM. Scots pine wood with to 80% mass percentage gain (MPG) after impregnation demonstrated an increment in thermal conductivity of 33% while Scots pine and beech with 43 and 38% MPG demonstrated an increase of the conductivity with 8 and 11%, respectively.


Beech; Bio-based PCMs; Building applications; Energy storage; Impregnation; Leaching; PCM distribution; Scots pine; Thermal characterization

Published in

Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
2022, Volume: 147, number: 19, pages: 10677-10692
Publisher: SPRINGER