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Portfolio of Jake Locke

Synthesis and evaluation of composite materials for thermochemical energy storage

Researcher: Jake Locke
Supervised by: Dr Stan Shire
Home department: i-STUTE (interdisciplinary centre for Storage, Transformation and Upgrading of Thermal Energy)
Expected start date: 29/06/2015
Expected end date: 25/09/2015

About the Researcher

I'm a second year undergraduate currently studying for an MEng in Mechanical Engineering within the School of Engineering. My research interests surround the storage and upgrading of waste heat, with the aim of significantly reducing energy use within process industries.  

About this Project



Industrial waste heat is available at various temperatures, typically ranging from 30oC to 160oC. The re-use of industrial waste heat has the potential to offer significant energy savings, with the annual market potential for recoverable heat within the UK estimated to be between 10TWh and 40TWh. The ability to recover and then store this waste heat increases the number of ways in which it can then be used, for example by discharging heat at much higher (and consequently much more useful) temperature levels.

In order to achieve output temperatures comparable to the those used within many process industries, thermochemical reversible reactions can be utilised for the heat storage/discharge stages. One such method involves the use of a salt and an evaporator/condenser, in which the working fluid (either water or ammonia) is desorbed from the salt when heat is stored and is then readsorbed again when heat is discharged. This method is similar to the stages involved in adsorption heat pump cycle but with the added ability to optimally store waste heat and then discharge when needed, and in doing so reducing the overall end use energy demands of industrial processes.The use of composite materials such as Expanded Natural Graphite (ENG) can greatly improve the heat and mass transfer of sorbent materials, as well as enhancing material integrity. In addition to its high thermal conductivity and low price, ENG is also highly porous, leaving space for the addition of salt and mass transfer of the working fluid.



This project looked at the methods for synthesising composite materials containing both ENG and CaCl2, in addition to investigating their thermal properties and cycle stability in the presence of ammonia. It is expected that a number of factors, namely maximum ENG densities arising from the mass transfer of ammonia during salt adsoption, will significantly constrain the range of viable compositions. It is hoped that the findings of this project will contribute to further research, in particular the ongoing Industrial Demand Reduction through Innovative Storage Technologies (IDRIST) project which is jointly based at the University of Warwick.


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