Science and Mathematics Faculty Publications

The Use of Ammonium Carbamate as a High Energy Density Thermal Energy Storage Material

Document Type


Publication Date


Journal Title

MRS Proceedings






Phase change materials (PCMs) often have higher specific energy storage capacities at elevated temperatures. Thermal management (TM) systems capable of handling high heat fluxes in the temperature range from 20–100°C are necessary but lacking. State of the art PCMs in this temperature range are usually paraffin waxes with energy densities on the order of a few hundred kJ/kg or ice slurries with energy densities of the same magnitude. However, for applications where system weight and size are limited, it is necessary to improve this energy density by at least an order of magnitude. The compound ammonium carbamate, [NH4][H2NCOO], is a solid formed from the reaction of ammonia and carbon dioxide which endothermically decomposes back to CO2 and NH3 in the temperature range 20-100°C with an enthalpy of decomposition of ∼2,000 kJ/kg. Various methods to use this material for TM of low-grade, high-flux heat have been evaluated including: bare powder, thermally conductive carbon foams, thermally conductive metal foams, hydrocarbon based slurries, and a slurry in ethylene glycol or propylene glycol. A slurry in glycol is a promising system medium for enhancing heat and mass transfer for TM. Progress on material and system characterization is reported.


Chemical reaction, energy storage, thermal conductivity