Thermal energy storage has received significant interest for delivering both heating and cooling in electric vehicles, to minimize the use of the on-board electric batteries for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC). An advanced thermo-adsorptive battery (ATB) is currently being developed, to provide both heating and cooling for an electric vehicle. We present a detailed thermophysical and physicochemical characterization of adsorptive materials for the development of the ATB. We discuss the feasibility of using contemporary adsorptive materials, such as zeolite 13X, by carrying out a detailed experimental characterization. In this study, zeolite 13X is combined with aluminum hydroxide (Al(OH)3) as a binder to improve the thermal conductivity. We also investigate the effect of densification on the overall transport characteristics of the adsorbent-binder composite material. Accordingly, the effective thermal conductivity, surface area, adsorption capacity and surface chemistry were characterized using the laser flash technique, surface sorption analyzer, thermogravimetric analyzer, and x-ray scattering technique. Thermal conductivity predictions of both zeolite 13X and its combination with the binder were made with existing conductivity models. Thermal conductivity in excess of 0.4 W/mK was achieved with the addition of 6.4 wt.% of Al(OH)3. However, a 10.6 % decrease in adsorption capacity was also observed. The experimental characterization presented herein is an essential step towards the development of the proposed ATB for next-generation electric vehicles.

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