The effect of additives on the speed of the crystallization front of xylitol with various degrees of supercooling

A. Seppälä (Corresponding Author), A. Meriläinen, Lisa Wikström, Pertti Kauranen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    47 Citations (Scopus)


    Some liquids can be kept in a supercooled or supersaturated metastable state for substantially long periods. Such liquids can be applied as long-term heat storage where the latent heat can be released when needed. As xylitol possesses a relatively high value of latent heat and as it can be easily supercooled, it has promising properties for this application. However, the speed of the crystallization of xylitol is low, leading to a low release rate of latent heat.

    Several additives have been experimentally tested for the purpose of accelerating the crystallization speed. The effect of the additives on the latent heat, on the melting temperatures, and on the long-term durability of the supercooled state was also measured.

    The highest speeds of the crystallization front, at a temperature of 22 °C, were achieved with methanol as an additive leading to speeds 33 times higher in vertical experiments and in 170 times higher in horizontal ones than with pure xylitol. The improved speed of the crystallization front is mostly caused by the methanol flow currents generated as a result of the separation of methanol during crystallization, and to a lesser extent, as a result of the increase in the speed of the growth of the crystals.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)523-527
    Number of pages5
    JournalExperimental Thermal and Fluid Science
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Crystallization
    • Heat storage
    • Supercooling
    • Xylitol


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