High-porosity composite phase-change materials for thermal energy storage applications

Patent details


European patent filed

Application number


Priority date

2 November 2022


De-Yi Wang, Guangzhong Yin


IMDEA Materials Institute, Universidad Francisco de Vitoria

Transfer opportunity

License of technology


IMDEA Materials and Universidad Francisco de Vitoria have developed a shape-stabilized composite phase-change material (PCM), physically stable and with high phase change enthalpy. 

The material is suitable for thermal management applications in electronics, power electronics, solar energy, batteries, or construction.


The increasingly prominent energy and environmental problems are pushing the requirements of our society for improved energy conservation and environmental protection. The requirements for efficient energy use are also increasingly higher. Thermal energy storage (TES) technologies are valuable components in many energy systems and could be an important tool in achieving a low-carbon future.

Phase-change materials (PCMs) are a thermal energy storage technology categorised by their capacity to store latent heat and are particularly attractive for applications where thermal energy has to be stored or delivered over a narrow temperature range or when compactness is a requirement.

Most widely used PCMs undergo solid-liquid transitions (solid-liquid PCM) and at the phase transition temperature, their temperature remains constant since the external heat is no longer used to change the temperature of the material but to change its state. As a consequence, the energy involved in the phase transition of the PCM, i.e., the specific enthalpy difference between solid and liquid (at constant temperature) also known as latent heat, is absorbed or released on the melting-solidification process of the PCM.

Solid-liquid PCMs require encapsulation in order to prevent the leakage of the liquid phase, and porous materials like clay minerals, metal foams or porous carbon are used to manufacture composite PCMs. However, the different containment strategies have limitations in terms of encapsulation efficiency and/or low enthalpy values.

Advantages and innovations

IMDEA Materials and UFV have developed an improved shape-estabilized and leak-resistant composite PCM based on an aerogel of polylactic acid (PLA) with a porosity around 90% that acts as scaffold for the solid-liquid phase-change material. The resulting composite PCMs present phase change enthalpies of 100-250 J/g, depending on the PCM used and a phase-change temperature comprised between 40 and 200 ˚C.

Thanks to the manufacturing process and the possibility to include additives in the formulation, the composite PCM is protected from external environments, it is capable of managing volume changes, it mitigates phase separation and sedimentation problems and it has low flammability.

Main characteristics

Composite PCM formulation #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7
PCM loading ration (weight %)
Latent heat (J/g)
Patented PLA aerogel/PCM composite materials


Knowledge & Technology Transfer Department, IMDEA Materials Institute

email: techtransfer.materials@imdea.org 

telephone: +34 91 5493422