Term of Award

Summer 2015

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Engineering (M.S.A.E.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Mujibur Khan

Committee Member 1

Gustavo Molina

Committee Member 2

David Calamas

Committee Member 3

Rafael Quirino

Committee Member 3 Email



The purpose of this research is to determine whether the addition of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) and an aluminum dopant to a ternary nitrate mixture will result in favorable properties for use in a concentrated solar power system as a heat transfer fluid (HTF) or thermal energy storage (TES) material. The properties that were investigated were latent heat, average specific heat capacity and rate of heat flow. The study reviews the changes during heating and cooling cycles and heat capacity of the sample. A ternary nitrate salt mixture (Ca(NO3)2 ·4H2O+KNO3+ NaNO3) at equal ratio embedded with MWCNTs and doped with Sol-gels were prepared and tested. The weight percentage of MWCNTs and aluminum dopant was approximately 1-2% each. After the samples were mixed together, they were placed in a vacuum furnace for eighty minutes at 450°C and then cooled down to room temperature. In order to minimize the moisture absorption the samples were kept in a sealed desiccator. These hybrid phase change materials were then tested using a differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) through heating and cooling cycles in the range of 0°C to 390°C. The latent heat of the samples was measured from the cooling exothermic curve from the DSC. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and Raman spectroscopy were used to analyze the nitrate mixtures as to their composition and surface appearance. From the DSC data it appears as though the rate of heat flow decreases with the addition of MWCNTs and Aluminum dopant. The average specific heat capacity also was reduced by the addition of MWCNTs according to the average data from 5 samples. The EDS analysis confirmed the composition of the mixtures. SEM analysis revealed the distribution of MWCNTs and the structure of the nitrates.

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