Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Vol.176, 346-356, 2018
Development of low-cost inorganic salt hydrate as a thermochemical energy storage material
Thermochemical storage is based on a reversible chemical reaction; energy can be stored when an endothermic chemical reaction occurs and then, energy is released when it is reversed in an exothermic reaction. According to literature and based on the energy storage density (esd), MgCl2 center dot 6H(2)O is a promising candidate material for thermochemical energy storage. Bischofite is an inorganic salt obtained as a by-product material from extraction processes of non-metallic minerals, from Salar de Atacama in Chile, containing approximately 95% of MgCl2 center dot 6H(2)O. Thus, the purpose of this study was to characterize the dehydration reaction of bischofite ore, studied as a low-cost thermochemical storage material. Thermogravimetric data for bischofite were obtained using a TGA instrument coupled to a DSC, at four different isotherms 70 degrees C, 80 degrees C, 90 degrees C and 100 degrees C. The results of conversion reaction (a-t) from the thermal dehydration experiments, demonstrated the first phase of dehydration with the loss of two water molecules. The study showed a typical sigmoid curve with a significant acceleration in the conversion at the beginning of the reaction until it reaches a maximum rate, where the curve keeps constant. The same behavior was observed for all the temperatures used. The kinetics of bischofite dehydration model was determined using the isothermal kinetics method. For this, the thermogravimetric data were fitted to the most used kinetic models (D, F, R, A) and then their respective correlation coefficients R were evaluated. The results indicated that the dehydration reaction of bischofite was described by the kinetics of chemical reaction of cylindrical particles R-2. The rate of dehydration reaction and esd of bischofite are lower as compared to synthetic MgCl2 center dot 6H(2)O, at temperatures higher than 80 degrees C. However, the cost of materials to store 1 MJ of energy is three times lower for bischofite, which is an evident advantage to promote the reuse of this material left as waste by the non-metallic industry.