Manganese oxide material can rapidly store and release low-grade heat without decomposing

Manganese oxide material can rapidly store and release low-grade heat without decomposing
Heat is released from the manganese oxide material when water molecules enter into its layered structure. Credit: Norihiko L. Okamoto

Scientists in Japan have found a common substance that can reversibly and rapidly store and release relatively large amounts of low-grade heat without decomposing. The research could lead to more efficient reuse of industrial waste heat. The results were published in the journal Nature Communications and were a collaboration between scientists at Tohoku University's Institute for Materials Research and Rigaku Corporation, a company that designs and manufactures X-ray-based measurement and thermal analysis tools.

In their investigations, the researchers used a layered manganese oxide mineral containing and crystal water. This mineral is quite similar in its composition to birnessite, which is commonly found on the Earth's surface. The team fabricated their compound in the form of an insoluble black powder and then examined its using an X-ray diffractometer and a transmission electron microscope. They then examined how the compound's structure changed when heated or cooled, and how much and how quickly was stored and released.

Heating the material up to 200︎ degrees Celsius dehydrated it by giving its stored water molecules the energy they need to be released into the surrounding atmosphere. When the dehydrated material was then cooled below 120︎C in a dry container and then exposed to humid air, it absorbed water molecules and released its stored heat.

"This intercalation mechanism, where are reversibly inserted into a layered material, is very advantageous for heat storage," says Tohoku University materials scientist Tetsu Ichitsubo. "It is very fast, reversible and the material's structure is well maintained. Also, oxygen in the atmosphere doesn't degrade the layered manganese oxide crystal and water doesn't dissolve it. This makes it an excellent candidate for waste-heat reuse in industrial settings."

This birnessite-type layered with crystal water compound demonstrated better all-round performance compared to other compounds currently being researched for heat storage purposes. "Our material has a long lifetime, can reversibly store and release large amounts of heat per unit volume, and rapidly charges and discharges," says Ichitsubo.

More information: Takuya Hatakeyama et al, Excellently balanced water-intercalation-type heat-storage oxide, Nature Communications (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-28988-0

Journal information: Nature Communications

Provided by Tohoku University

Citation: Manganese oxide material can rapidly store and release low-grade heat without decomposing (2022, April 4) retrieved 12 July 2024 from
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