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Experimental investigation of novel hybrid phase change materials


The novel potential of hybrid phase change materials (PCM) as a mix of animal fat, specifically pork fat (lard), with edible and waste oil from the food processing industry was investigated in this paper. Lard is a relatively accessible phase change material of organic origin, with a significantly lower unit price when compared to conventional PCM materials (wholesale price of lard can be less than 0.50 €/kg). On an annual basis, a large amount of lard is thrown away because it has become inedible from a nutritional point of view. Experimental results directed that the addition of oils can improve the thermal constants of lard such as thermal conductivity, volumetric heat capacity, with the thermal diffusivity being reduced. The best result was achieved for a hybrid PCM as a combination of pork fat and waste burnt oil as the thermal conductivity was improved by 1.4% and the volumetric heat capacity by 11% with respect to the base PCM, i.e., pork fat (lard). The novel proposed hybrid PCMs are more economically viable, enabling the utilization of waste resources, and securing less environmental impact when compared to conventional PCMs as organic materials. The possible application of lard should be further investigated for specific engineering applications, such as thermal energy storage.

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This work was funded by the Croatian science foundation (Research project: Smart and hybrid cooling techniques for siliceous photovoltaic panels-IP-01-2018-2814).

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Correspondence to Sandro Nižetić.

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Jurčević, M., Nižetić, S., Čoko, D. et al. Experimental investigation of novel hybrid phase change materials. Clean Techn Environ Policy 24, 201–212 (2022).

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  • Phase change materials
  • Lard
  • Waste edible oil
  • Thermal constants
  • Thermal energy storage
  • Hybrid PCM
  • Thermal properties