Transforming Sugars into Salts─A Novel Strategy to Reduce Supercooling in Polyol Phase-Change Materials

Bartlomiej Gaida, Jan Kondratowicz, Samantha L. Piper, Craig M. Forsyth, Anna Chrobok, Douglas R. Macfarlane, Karolina Matuszek, Alina Brzeczek-Szafran

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Phase-change materials (PCMs) that melt in the intermediate temperature range of 100-220 °C can contribute to the utilization of renewable energy. Compounds rich in hydroxyl groups (e.g., sugar alcohols) are promising materials because of their high energy-storage densities and renewability. However, supercooling and poor stability under operating conditions currently exclude them from practical application as PCMs in the pure form. In this study, we explore a new strategy to encourage the crystallization of sugars by introducing Coulombic interactions into their structures. The thermal properties of the first carbohydrate-based ionic compounds studied as PCMs are reported, focusing on a glucose-based cation and four different anions, namely, Br- [NO3], [OMs], and [BF4]. Combining α-d-glucopyranoside, which typically supercools, with the [NO3] anion resulted in a salt system that crystallized readily during heating/cooling cycles. The role of hydrogen bonding in dictating the thermal properties was examined by single-crystal X-ray diffraction and Hirshfeld surface analyses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-632
Number of pages10
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2024


  • carbohydrates
  • Coulombic interactions
  • hydrogen bonding
  • ionic liquids
  • organic salts
  • phase-change materials
  • sugars
  • supercooling
  • thermal energy storage

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