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James A. Morrison Lecturer- Professor Mary Anne White, Department of Chemistry, Dalhousie University

Event Date: 
Monday, November 4, 2019 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Phase Change Materials for Thermal Energy Storage 


About 40% of the world’s energy demand is used for heating, from buildings to hot water. Given that light from the sun can be converted to heat with about 90% efficiency, and that it is most efficient to store energy in the form in which it will be used, solar thermal energy could be very useful if a reasonable solution to the storage problem can be found. All materials store energy based on their heat capacity (sensible heat storage), but the volumetric or gravimetric energy storage density is greatly increased by using a material that changes phase (e.g., melting). Such phase change materials (PCMs) have considerable promise for storage of solar thermal energy for later recovery and use. The history and prospects of phase change materials for energy storage will be presented, along with insights into current challenges.

Mary Anne White is the Harry Shirreff Professor of Chemical Research (Emerita) at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She holds a BSc (Honours Chemistry, 1975) from UWO, and PhD (Chemistry, 1979) from McMaster, carried out under the supervision of Professor James A. Morrison. Following an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Oxford, in 1981 she took up an NSERC University Research Fellowship/Assistant Professorship at the University of Waterloo, which she transferred to Dalhousie University in 1983. Mary Anne rose through the ranks at Dalhousie, where she was co-founder and first director for the Institute for Research in Materials (now Clean Technologies Research Institute), and also director of the NSERC CREATE Program, DREAMS (Dalhousie Research in Energy, Advanced Materials and Sustainability). Mary Anne’s research is in thermal properties of materials, now focused on energy storage. She has published more than 200 papers, a textbook (“Physical Properties of Materials”, now in its 3rd edition), and holds two patents. Mary Anne has received many awards, including the Noranda Award of the Canadian Society for Chemistry, the Sunner Award of the Calorimetry Conference, the Union Carbide Award for Chemical Education from the Chemical Institute of Canada, the American Chemical Society Award for Incorporation of Sustainability into Chemical Education, and the McNeil Medal for Public Awareness of Science from the Royal Society of Canada. She is an elected Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada, of IUPAC, and of the Royal Society of Canada. She holds honorary doctorates from McMaster University, the University of Western Ontario and the University of Ottawa. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada.



Event Location: 
Location Details: 
JHE 326H