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Phase Change Matters Newsletter May 19 2017

The Phase Change Matters e-mail newsletter is a weekly summary of the latest news and research on phase change materials and thermal energy storage. To subscribe, visit For more frequent updates, follow @puretemp on Twitter or visit the Phase Change Matters blog,


BASF sells Micronal line of microencapsulated PCMs to Microtek Labs

Microtek Laboratories of Dayton, Ohio, has signed a contract to purchase BASF‘s Micronal line of microencapsulated phase change materials. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Micronal logoThe Micronal line, introduced in 2004, includes six paraffin-based PCMs offered in liquid and powder form, with melt points ranging from 21° to 26° C. Microencapsulated PCMs are used for thermal regulation in building and construction products, mattresses, textiles and packaging applications. Micronal is key component of building products such as Knauf Comfortboard and National Gypsum‘s ThermalCORE panels. 

Manufacturing of Micronal products will be transitioned to Microtek’s Dayton production facility by the end of the year. Micronal products will be available through Microtek starting May 23.

“The Micronal line is a proven and established line of microencapsulated PCM products,” said Microtek President Tim Riazzi. “Micronal can and has been used in many diverse market applications. Micronal is RAL-certified and meets the high expectations that Microtek and our customers demand. The Micronal product line complements the existing Microtek PCM product line by providing a complete suite of products for PCM customers.”

BASF, based in Ludwigshafen, Germany, said the sale will allow its dispersions and pigments division to focus on its core business. The sale does not include Ludwigshafen production assets, BASF said, and no employees will be laid off. Marco Schmidt, Micronal’s head of business management, will help with the transition for the next few months before assuming new duties at BASF.  

Microtek says it has added personnel to handle the additional business and “will definitely be adding more” as the business grows. Riazzi says the company sees the need to add distribution points around the world and says a plan will be announced “very soon.”

Microtek, founded in 1985, is a privately held company focused on phase change material and microencapsulation services. It introduced its Nextek line of PCM capsules in 2016.


Enhanced homogenous catalyzed reactor systems

SABIC patent drawingU.S. patent application 20170137344 (applicant SABIC Global Technologies BV, Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands):

“An energy storage system is provided. The energy storage system includes a vessel made of a refractory material and containing a phase change material, a thermally insulating cover at least partially surrounding the vessel, an emitter, made of a refractory material, having a first side arranged to be heated by the phase change material and a second side intended to radiate thermal power, at least one photovoltaic cell arranged to receive the thermal power emitted by the second side of the emitter, and electric means for heating the phase change material.”

Energy collection system applicable to combustion engines

U.S. patent application 20170138302 (applicant Innovation Management and Sustainable Technologies SA, Monterrey, Mexico):

“Disclosed is an energy collector system applicable to internal combustion engines. It may include: a) a collector of thermal energy from the exhaust gases; b) a thermal tank covered by helical tubes to gain heat by the exhaust gases; c) a heat exchanger; and d) an outer element capable of converting thermal energy into mechanical energy, such as a closed Brayton cycle turbine, a Stirling engine, a Rankine turbine or an open loop air motor for converting mechanical energy (coupling the difference in rpm) into electrical energy with an electrical generator. … Thermal energy from the exhaust gases of combustion engines is collected in a thermal tank with phase change material to minimize the required volume and whose insulation minimizes energy losses.”

Compressed gas energy storage and harvesting system

U.S. patent application 20170138674 (applicant IFP Energies nouvelles, France):

“The present invention relates to an AACAES system and method in which a heat transfer fluid makes it possible to store heat. The heat transfer fluid, which comprises balls of heat storage material, circulates between two tanks: a hot tank and a cold tank, and passes through at least one heat exchanger. … Advantageously, said balls are produced in alumina, in metal or by micro or nanocapsules of phase change material, such as paraffins, metals or salts.”


Warmilu, maker of the IncuBlanket infant warmer, reports that is on track for $300,000 in total 2017 sales after signing two distributors for Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia: Relief for Africa Foundation and Maternova. The IncuBlanket, which has been successfully tested in clinical trials in India, uses packs filled with sodium acetate trihydrate to keep infants warm for up to five hours. CEO Grace Hsia says the device recently cleared its first regulatory filing with Kenya’s Pharmacy and Poisons Board.

Axiom Exergy has won a Gold Stevie for Energy Innovation in the 15th annual American Business Awards. Axiom’s “refrigeration battery” enables supermarkets and food warehouses to store thermal energy at night when power is cheaper. The system, which uses salt-based phase change material, reduces peak power usage by up to 40 percent.

• Registration is open for IFAI’s Expo 2017, set for Sept. 27-29 in New Orleans. The Industrial Fabrics Association International show will feature sessions on smart fabrics, military procurement, biomimesis and green certification.   

Pelican BioThermal has introduced a new Series 22 Universal system for its Credo brand of shippers. The system uses a dual PCM coolant system designed to be operational throughout the year.

National Law Review offers a fresh overview of green chemistry laws across the United States. “State chemical control regimes,” the authors conclude, “are likely to increase cost and foster confusion about chemical safety, which is one reason that Congress agreed to modernize TSCA by adopting LCSA.”

Monodraught‘s Cool-phase ventilation and cooling system was among the finalists honored at the National CSR Awards in London this week. The hybrid system, which won a “One to Watch” award, uses PCMs to store and release thermal energy, providing a free cooling load and reducing energy and maintenance costs.

• The agenda has been released for the 15th Cold Chain Global Forum to be held Sept. 25-29 in Chicago. Frank Butch, director of engineering at Sonoco ThermoSafe, will lead a master class on temperature assurance packaging certification.

Bloomberg BNA is offering a free webinar June 12: “Reviewing New Chemicals under Amended TSCA: Impact on Innovation.” 

Outlast Europe’s Martin Bentz spoke with T.EVO magazine this month about the company’s new Xelerate fabric (shown below). The fabric, introduced at a German trade fair earlier this year, incorporates “heat spreader” technology, a process traditionally known for cooling electronic devices. Xelerate fabric features improved thermal conductivity, Bentz said, and is suitable for home textiles, sportswear and protective gear. In an email exchange with Phase Change Matters, Bentz declined to discuss specific partners or customers.

Drawing of Outlast Xelerate


For our full list of recent academic research, see Here are highlights from the past week:

From International Journal of Energy Research:

Screening alternatives for producing paraffinic phase change materials for thermal energy storage in buildings

From International Journal of Emerging Research in Management and Technology:

Various Applications of Phase Change Materials: Thermal Energy Storing Materials [pdf]

From Applied Thermal Engineering:

Numerical analysis on the energy storage efficiency of phase change material embedded in finned metal foam with graded porosity

From International Journal of Modern Physics B:

Preparation and thermal properties of Glauber’s salt-based phase-change materials for Qinghai–Tibet Plateau solar greenhouses

From Energy and Buildings:

Evaluating the passive and free cooling application methods of phase change materials in residential buildings: A comparative study

From Applied Energy:

Fabrication of microencapsulated phase change materials with TiO2/Fe3O4 hybrid shell as thermoregulatory enzyme carriers: A novel design of applied energy microsystem for bioapplications
Microstructure and thermal properties of cetyl alcohol/high density polyethylene composite phase change materials with carbon fiber as shape-stabilized thermal storage materials

From Journal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers:

Preparation of polyvinyl chloride capsules for encapsulation of paraffin by coating multiple organic/inorganic layers

From Energy Conversion and Management:

Experimental investigation of thermal storage integrated micro trigeneration system

From International Journal of Hydrogen Energy:

Numerical study on melt fraction during melting of phase change material inside a sphere

From Journal of Energy Storage:

Crystallization of inorganic salt hydrates in polymeric foam for thermal energy storage application


Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

More than a thousand of your peers have joined a LinkedIn group devoted to the discussion of phase change material and thermal energy storage. The Phase Change Matters group is an interactive complement to the award-winning blog and newsletter of the same name.

LinkedIn logoYou are invited to join the group and connect with PCM and TES experts from around the world. New members this week include Mischa Hermkens, sales rep at Inno-Plus BV, Netherlands; Alexandros Askounis, postdoctoral research associate at the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research, Kyushu University, Japan; Juliana Piña, associate professor of chemical engineering at Universidad Nacional del Sur, Argentina; Thomas Lyck, sales and marketing project manager at Climator Sweden AB, Sweden; and Xiyao Zhang, postdoc fellow at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.