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Nanoparticle Separation/Reclamation

Problem Space:

Separation and Reclamation of Nanoparticles from NEPCM


Phase change materials (PCM) are used in many energy storage applications. Energy is stored (as latent heat of fusion) by melting the PCM and is released during re-solidification. Dispersing highly-conductive nanoparticles into the PCM enhances the effective thermal conductivity of the PCM, which in turn significantly improves the energy storage functionality of the PCM. The resulting colloidal mixture with the nanoparticles in suspension is referred to as nanoparticle enhanced phase change materials (NEPCM). A commonly used PCM for energy storage application is the family of paraffins (CnH2n+2). Mixing copper oxide (CuO) nanoparticles (with stabilizer coating of ligands) in the paraffin produces an effective highly functional NEPCM for energy storage. However, after long term application cycles, the functionality of the NEPCM may deteriorate and may need replacement with fresh supply. Disposal of the used NECPM containing the nanoparticles is a matter of concern. It cannot be discarded directly into the environment because the short and long term environmental and health hazards of nanoparticles are not quite understood. This problem will be considerable with widespread use of NEPCM . It is thus important to develop technologies to separate the nanoparticles before the disposal of the NEPCM. This is the motivation behind this study.

Relevant Data: