LC3 with microencapsulated phase change materials for reducing embodied and operational carbon

June 16, 2023

Afshin Marani (1), Lei Zhang (2), Moncef L. Nehdi (1)
Cement and Concrete Research. Volume 172 (16 June 2023). DOI:


Microencapsulated phase change materials (MPCM), limestone calcined clay cement (LC3), thermal energy storage (TES), net-zero carbon, hydration kinetics, microstructural analysis


This study synergized LC3 binders, which substitute 50 % of ordinary portland cement with metakaolin and limestone, and microencapsulated phase change materials (MPCM) to develop latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES) LC3 composites that simultaneously decrease embodied and operational carbon. Multi-scale, multi-physics experimental program was deployed to characterize the developed composite. Isothermal calorimetry measurements showed that MCPM inclusion prolonged the dormant period and reduced hydration peaks. X-ray diffraction analysis demonstrated that hydration products were not altered by MPCM addition. Compressive strength decreased upon MPCM addition, yet high compressive strengths were achieved at low water-to-binder ratios. 3-D image analysis of micro-computed X-ray tomography and scanning electron microscopy images revealed that porosity of the composite increased with MPCM integration. It was evidenced that LHTES- LC3 composites can both reduce embodied carbon and regulate indoor temperature fluctuations by up to 3.5 °C, thus further reducing operational energy consumption and carbon emissions of buildings.

How Our Software Was Used

Image segmentation, porosity analysis, and 2D and 3D visualizations were carried out with Dragonfly.

Author Affiliation

(1) Department of Civil Engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L7, Canada
(2) School of Civil and Transportation Engineering, Hebei University of Technology, Tianjin 300401, China