Microfluidic Production of Monodisperse Biopolymer Microcapsules for Latent Heat Storage

Takaichi Watanabe, Yuko Sakai, Naomi Sugimori, Toshinori Ikeda, Masayuki Monzen, Tsutomu Ono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Microencapsulation of phase change materials in a polymer shell is a promising technology to prevent them from leakage and to use them as a handleable powder state. However, the microencapsulation process is a time-consuming process because the typical shell-forming step requires polymerization or evaporation of the solvent. In this study, we report a simple and rapid flow process to prepare monodisperse biocompatible cellulose acetate (CA) microcapsules encapsulating n-hexadecane (HD) for latent heat storage applications. The microcapsules were prepared by combining microfluidic droplet formation and subsequent rapid solvent removal from the droplets by solvent diffusion. The diameter and shell thickness of the microcapsules could be controlled by adjusting the flow rate and the HD-to-CA weight ratio in the dispersed phase. We found that 1-hexadecanol added to the microcapsules played the role of a nucleation agent and mitigated the supercooling phenomenon during crystallization. Furthermore, cross-linking of the CA shell with poly(propylene glycol), tolylene 2,4-diisocyanate terminated, resulted in the formation of a thin and dense shell. The microcapsules exhibited a 66 wt % encapsulation efficiency and a 176 J g-1 latent heat storage capacity, with negligible supercooling. We believe that this microflow process can contribute to the preparation of environmentally friendly microcapsules for heat storage applications.

Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Materials Au
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • cellulose acetate
  • core-shell
  • latent heat storage
  • microfluidics
  • phase separation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


Dive into the research topics of 'Microfluidic Production of Monodisperse Biopolymer Microcapsules for Latent Heat Storage'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this