Henk Huinink is an Assistant Professor at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). His key research interests include phase transitions in crystals, interactions between solids and water, heat and mass transport in porous media and NMR imaging and relaxometry. Henk investigates materials for making thermal batteries, with the goals of increasing power output and multicyclic stable performance. Thermal batteries are charged with heat instead of electricity.
Henk studies the physical working principles of heat storage materials in order to improve them and make them suitable for long term compact storage. He is focusing on so-called thermochemical materials (TCM’s) in general and salt hydrates in particular. As water is built into the crystal structure heat is released (hydration). By heating the materials, the water will desorb (dehydration). This reversible reaction can be used for charging and discharging.
Henk’s research has identified the most promising crystal hydrates for compact heat storage based on the thermochemical principle. He has also elucidated the coupling between the reaction kinetics of hydration/dehydration reactions in salt hydrates and nucleation-growth mechanisms. He will be focusing on the following topics in the coming period:
- Stabilization of salt hydrates by studying salt/organic composites.
- Boost the power output by increasing the thermal conductivity of the TCM’s.
- Improve power output by promoting nucleation in TCM’s.
No energy transition without heat storage, no heat storage without materials, no storage materials without fundamental physical understanding
Henk Huinink has a background in physical chemistry. During his MSc and PhD he specialized in the field of statistical physics and its application to soft matter. Henk received his PhD in Soft Matter from Wageningen University, for his work on statistical mechanical modeling of surfactants in pores. Besides heat storage, he has worked on water/ion migration through polymer films and coatings for more than 10 years. From 1997-1999, he was a Research Fellow at Shell, working on block copolymer thin films within the framework of EU project dealing with mescopic simulation methods.
On sabbatical in 2015, Henk spent time at the Center for Computational Chemistry of Prof. Dirk Zahn at the Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen. Here, he studied atomistic modeling of dynamics in crystal hydrates in view of thermal energy storage. He is involved in a wide range of projects focusing on thermal energy storage, including:
- EU H2020: CREATE
- TKI projects: Dope4Heat / Cap4Heat
- NWO Mat4Sus: Mat4Heat
Caesium doping accelerates the hydration rate of potassium carbonate in thermal energy storageSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells (2023)
Impact of Atmospheric CO2on Thermochemical Heat Storage Capabilities of K2CO3Energy & Fuels (2022)
Elucidating the large variation in ion diffusivity of microelectronic packaging materialsMicroelectronics Reliability (2022)
Thermodynamic analysis of dehydration of K2CO3·1.5H2OThermochimica Acta (2022)
A study of the hydration and dehydration transitions of SrCl2 hydrates for use in heat storageSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells (2022)