Characterization of Desert Sand for its Feasible use as Thermal Energy Storage Medium

Miguel Diago, Alberto Crespo Iniesta, Thomas Delclos, Tariq Shamim, Nicolas Calvet

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Desert sand samples were thermally analyzed and their suitability for use as sensible heat thermal energy storage (TES) media is evaluated. Mass loss during heating was monitored with a thermal gravimetric analyzer (TGA) linked to a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR). This technique showed that the relative mass loss rate of all the samples is comparable and that carbon dioxide is produced during their degradation. The calcite content of each sample is estimated assuming full calcination during the process. Additionally, larger fractions of the samples were heated in a high temperature electric furnace. This experiment showed that some samples tend to agglomerate at high temperatures, thus rendering their use as heat transfer fluid media questionable. Furthermore, color change from lighter tones to whiter tones is observed. This effect may impact the radiative properties of the samples, especially their solar absorptivity values. Finally, the average heat capacity in the 150-1100°C temperature range was measured with a differential scanning calorimeter. The average heat capacity for all the samples was 926.1 J kg-1 K-1.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)2113-2118
Number of pages6
JournalEnergy Procedia
StatePublished - 2015
Event7th International Conference on Applied Energy, ICAE 2015 - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Duration: 28 Mar 201531 Mar 2015


  • Concentrated solar power
  • Sand
  • Thermal energy storage
  • Thermal stability


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of Desert Sand for its Feasible use as Thermal Energy Storage Medium'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this