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ERC

ENERCAPSULE Report Summary

Project ID: 647969
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ENERCAPSULE (Nanoencapsulation for Energy Storage and Controlled Release)

Reporting period: 2017-03-01 to 2018-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

New technologies for energy generation, storage and delivery, which are started to be developed in Europe during the last decade, require also the considerable effort in the investigation of new materials for energy systems able to store considerable amount of energy in a small volume for a long period of time avoiding its unexpectable losses (EU Directives 2012/27/EU and 2010/31/EU on energy efficiency). This becomes more important when one speaks about energy polygeneration approach, where separate materials for storage and delivery of the electric and thermal energies have to be integrated in one system, and for targeted delivery of bioenergy for bio-inspired synthetic technology platforms (biofactories). There is also a major problem of storage over times between hours and months with the possibility to release or additionally uptake entrapped energy on demand. Corresponding materials have to provide high safety, control, be cheap and reusable. Despite several successful examples of commercialisation of the energy storage materials, in particular for storage of electric energy, the continues research work exists both inside EU as well as in USA and Japan in order to improve energy storage, to miniaturise the materials achieving high energy and controlled release and uptake capacities, to eliminate wasting energy and, finally, to make new materials flexible in terms of delivery of different amounts and types of energies and use of complex energy storage systems.

ENERCAPSULE project contributes to the development of a novel generation of energy storage materials by applying nanoencapsulation approach to the energy-enriched materials for control over the energy uptake and release on demand, to decrease the size of the energy storage unit to nanometre range. In order to demonstrate high versatility and applicability of the proposed scientific goals, two target groups of energy storage materials are chosen, in each of them the nanoencapsulation will foresee application advances and added scientific value from energy-enriched materials in nanoconfined environment and complex storage systems: i) Heat storage materials ii) Materials for delivery of bioenergy (ATP and polyphosphoric acids).

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The project consists of several Work packages involving (i) dispersion of the targeted energy materials; (ii) encapsulation into the capsules with controlled energy and materials' delivery properties across the shell and (iii) validation of the application of such energy capsules in the energy delivery systems.
The successful dispersion and encapsulation of the energy materials have been achieved for both thermal and bioenergy storage. Energy capsules showed much higher stability during energy uptake/release cycles (>100 times) comparing to the bulk materials without protected capsule shell. Controlled release of the energy has been provided by multifunctionality (barrier, thermal conductivity, sensitivity to the environmental changes) of the shells of nanocapsules.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

We have developed a new and facile technology for the nanodispersion of materials for thermal and bioenergy storage in a kg-scale volume. The permeability of the capsule shell can be controlled by external stimuli from the shell completely non-permeable in solutions (e.g., for water or ion molecules) to the shell permeable to the biomacromolecules.
We also demonstrated the application of mesoporous nanoparticles and halloysite clay nanotubes for encapsulation of energy materials and their targeted delivery.
We found unique phenomenon for controlled thermal and electric conductivity of the reduced graphene oxide/CNT capsule shell depending on the capsule size and shell curvature.

Expected results until the end of the project:
- Behaviour of energy-enriched materials in encapsulated state.
- Knowledge about energy and material exchange between nanocapsules and environment.
- Technology of dispersion of energy materials and encapsulation into multifunctional nanocapsules.
- Influence of the surface component onto the overall performance of energy-enriched nanomaterials.
- Development of encapsulated heat capacitors with wide variation of operating temperatures and high corrosion protection stability.
- Precise delivery of bioenergy in synthetic bioreactors.
- High cycle and storage stability of energy storage and delivery systems.
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