Leakage-free porous cellulose-based phase change cryogels for sound and thermal insulation

Wendy T. Le, Ari Kankkunen, Orlando J. Rojas*, Maryam R. Yazdani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


Leakage-free phase change materials (PCM) are used as passive energy storage systems that thermoregulate indoor environments. In this research, we synthesized highly porous hybrid materials based on non-covalent physical interactions between (poly)ethylene glycol (PEG) and modified cellulose nanofibrils (CNF), namely lignin-containing CNF (LCNF) or acetylated CNF (ACNF). The PEG/CNF hybrid, termed phase change nanohybrids (PCN), were ultra-lightweight (0.022–0.043 g/cm3), mechanically resilient, and displayed a high latent energy storage, up to 204 J/g. The PCN systems (specific heat capacity as high as 2.24 J/g K) were effective in thermal regulating 2.23 °C with a 1 mm thickness coverage while maintaining thermal stability. The PCN also demonstrated favorable thermal management under excess solar heating, providing 33.5 °C of insulative protection with a 1.5 cm thick system. The PCNs have exceptional acoustic absorbance (100% absorbance for 1600 Hz and 50% at lower frequencies, 500 Hz). Trace metal oxide (TiO2) nanoparticles improved the PCN thermoregulating abilities, revealing desirable opportunities in multi-functional applications. Our biobased PCN is a promising insulation and passive energy storage alternative for thermal protection in smart building, electronic, packaging, energy storage system and aerospace sectors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112337
Number of pages11
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Early online date27 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Acoustic absorbance
  • Cellulose nanofibril
  • Insulation
  • Latent heat storage
  • Phase change material
  • Thermoregulation


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