Screening alternatives for producing paraffinic phase change materials for thermal energy storage in buildings
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Screening alternatives for producing paraffinic phase change materials (PCMs) from natural gas‐based products was investigated. Based on the quality and cost of these PCMs, two sources were identified: (i) hydrogenated gas‐to‐liquid (GTL) products such as heavy detergent feedstocks; and (ii) linear alpha olefins. Fractionation of a typical hydrogenated GTL mixture, containing C14 – C18 alkene and alkane hydrocarbons, has been experimentally conducted to produce five paraffinic PCMs with melting points between 3 and 28 °C. ChemCAD simulation has been proved to be a valid tool for predicting the behaviour of the GTL fractionation, including optimum experimental conditions and compositions of products. Also, hydrogenation of technical 1‐octadecene was experimentally carried out in order to evaluate the quality of PCM produced from one of the available technical alpha‐olefins. All PCMs produced in this work were analysed by gas chromatography equipped with flame ionization detector to determine their compositions and by differential scanning calorimetry to determine their latent heats. The results showed that the PCM with a melting temperature in the range 22 to 25 °C can be technically produced through hydrogenation of commercial 1‐octadecene showing a higher latent heat compared to the PCM produced from fractionation of hydrogenated GTL mixture. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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