Materials that can store latent heat (energy released or absorbed by a material or a thermodynamic system at constant-temperature process) during the phase transition are called phase change materials (PCMs). PCMs latent heat transition can be achieved with solid-solid, solid-liquid, solid-gas, and liquid-gas phase change. However, only solid-liquid phase change is used in advanced PCMs at commercial level, since other methods required large volume and high pressure.
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Based on the technology of the material used, advanced PCMs are broadly categorized as inorganic PCMs, organic PCMs, bio-based PCMs and other PCMs. Organic PCMs are further classified as paraffin and non-paraffin materials; these materials melt and freeze repetitively without phase isolation and resulting degradation of their latent heat of fusion. Inorganic phase changed materials are further classified in salt hydrate and metallic. These advanced PCMs do not withdraw heat significantly and their heats of fusion do not decay with cycling. Bio-based advanced PCMs are mostly derived from plant oil or animal fat and poses higher biodegradability over others.
On the basis of their application in various fields the advanced PCMs can be categories as building and construction, energy storage, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), shipping and transportation, and others including textiles and protective clothing.
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Europe is the largest market for advanced PCMs followed by North America and Asia Pacific. Whereas increased construction works due to increasing urbanization is expected to boost the advance PCMs market in Asia Pacific region in coming years. Paraffin based advanced PCMs (organic PCMs) holds the largest market share while with increasing concern over environment and stiff regulation against biodegradability, bio-based PCMs are expected to gain the fastest growth in coming years.
Global trend towards energy saving, sustainable development and increase demand of biodegradable materials, increasing construction works due to surge in urbanization in Asia Pacific countries and advancement in packaging science is driving the market for advanced PCMs. However, harmful character of chemicals used as PCMs is expected to inhibit the growth of the market. Lack of government inventiveness and encourage in the direction of the growth and expansion of PCM is a major challenge faced by the Advanced PCMs industry.
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Some of the global leading manufacturers of advanced PCMs are, Advansa B.V, BASF SE, Ciat Group, Cryopak Inc., Datum Phase Change Ltd., E. I. Du Pont De Nemours And Company, Emco Klimatechnik Gmbh & Co. KG, Ewald Dörken AG, Honeywell Electronic Materials Inc., Laird PLC, Micron Technology Inc., Outlast Technologies LIC, PCM Energy P. Ltd, Phase Change Energy Solutions Inc., Phase Change Material Products Limited, Rgees LIC, Rubitherm Technologies GMBH, SALCA BV, SGL Group, The Bergquist Company Inc., Climator Sweden AB, Entropy Solutions Inc., Microtek Laboratories Inc., Pluss Polymers Pvt. Ltd. and Sonoco Products Co.
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