Novel metal-organic framework (MOF) based phase change material composite and its impact on building energy consumption

Menghao Qin*, Olivier Feaugas, Kan Zu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Space cooling (including dehumidification) is the fastest-growing use of energy in buildings. Materials that have high thermal and moisture buffer capacities can passively mitigate indoor temperature and humidity fluctuations, thus reducing the demand for air conditioning and improving building energy efficiency. Here, we report a novel metal-organic framework (MOF) based microencapsulated phase change material (MPCM) composite. The new MOF-MPCM is a dual-function material that can simultaneously absorb/release heat and moisture from surrounding air and passively regulate the indoor hygrothermal environment. MIL-160(Al), a novel green and biomass-derived MOF material with excellent sorption performance and large-scale production potential, was prepared for moisture buffering. MPCM containing an n-octadecane core and polymethylmetracrylate shells were synthesized for temperature control. Physicochemical and hygrothermal properties of MOF-MPCM composite were characterized by SEM, XRD, DVS, DSC, and TGA techniques, etc. A HAM-Enthalpy model was developed to study the impact of MOF-MPCM on the indoor hygrothermal environment and building energy performance in different climates. Seven cities around the world (i.e., Singapore, Hong Kong, Phoenix, Denver, Barcelona, London, and Beijing) were selected as the representative climate locations. The simulation indicates that MOF-MPCM can effectively mitigate indoor temperature and moisture variations and cut down the energy consumption of air conditioning systems, especially in hot-dry, temperate, and continental climates with large diurnal air temperature and humidity variations. The maximum energy-saving potential could reach 35.2% in Phoenix. The study provides guidance for the further improvement and application of dual-function MOF-MPCM composite in different climates.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112382
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Metal-organic framework
  • Phase change material
  • Hygrothermal environment
  • Building energy conservation


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