Novel microporous network polymers as high performing heat-storage adsorbents for low-temperature regeneration
The aim of this project is to create more efficient heat-storage materials for improved cooling/heating applications. In such materials, heat is removed from an area that needs to be kept cold by a cooling liquid (typically water or methanol) then transferred via a heat exchanger, which is generally a porous adsorbent.
With this project, we aim to improve the heating capacity of adsorbents that, at the moment, consist of low performing and expensive clays (i.e., difficult to regenerate throughout heating-cooling cycles, with an elevated energy demand). We will design and synthesise novel adsorbents made of high performing porous polymers and co-polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs). The enhanced porosity will improve the heat capacity of the new materials by trapping higher amounts of the cooling liquid into small pores. In addition, the new adsorbents will release the trapped liquid at a lower temperature (40-60 °C), allowing a quicker regeneration, which is a great advantage over the commercial clays that need a very high temperature for this task (e.g., > 200 °C).