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Development of adsorbed natural gas storage system assisted by phase change material

Grant number: 17/19087-0
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: September 01, 2018 - August 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering - Industrial Operations and Equipment for Chemical Engineering
Principal Investigator:Marcelo Martins Seckler
Grantee:Marcelo Martins Seckler
Host Institution: Escola Politécnica (EP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Carlos Eduardo Pantoja ; Emílio Carlos Nelli Silva ; José Luís de Paiva


Phase change materials (PCM) have received much attention for energy storage applications. Recently, PCM has been proposed as an aid to adsorbed natural gas storage (ANG). During the adsorber charge period, the PCM receives part of the adsorption heat, melts and so restrains the increase in temperature. During the discharge period, which is endothermic, conversely, PCM crystallization heat is released to avoid excessive cooling of the adsorption bed. Consequently, the PCM accelerates the adsorber charge and discharge cycles. Besides, since the charge is temperature is reduced and the discharge temperature is increased, the PCM also increases the reservoir capacity. Even though the association of PCM with ANG has been shown to improve system performance in the features mentioned, important deficiencies in the knowledge of ANG-PCM systems exist, which will be covered in this research, namely: (a) optimal distribution of PCM within the reservoir; (b) adequate crystallization behavior of the PCM.The best way to distribute PCM´s inside the ANG reservoir will be experimentally investigated in a bench scale unit provided with instrumentation to measure the rates of gas adsorption and desorption, as well as the temperature evolution in each cycle. The experimental results will be compared to theoretical results from topological optimization, currently under development in a CEPID FAPESP-Shell project under coordination of Prof. Emílio Carlos Nelli Silva.The PCM behavior concerning the range of temperatures of phase change and the rate of heat exchange will be studied in light of crystallization theory, since detailed studies of PCM crystallization behavior are scarce. The research will be conducted in both a micrometric scale (by optical microscopy) and bench scale (with a "cold finger" unit). Crystallization will be considered in its thermodynamic (range of melting temperatures), kinetic (undercooling, crystal growth rate) and morphologic (solid-liquid interfacial stability) aspects. It is expected that this research contributes to the knowledge of efficient PCMs for gas storage with respect to the amount of required PCM, its operating temperature and heat transfer rate. These features are important to enable short charge and discharge times, as well as high storage capacity.This research is part of the Research Center for Gas Innovation project sponsored by FAPESP (project code 2014/50279-4). (AU)

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