Date of Last Revision

2023-05-03 13:09:54


Chemical Engineering

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2019


This work investigates the use of two different polyols, xylitol (Xyl) and erythritol (Ery), in conjunction with boron nitride (BN) aerogels, for the purpose of creating thermally conductive composites. While the BN filler in Xyl composites achieved a high anisotropic thermal conductivity of up to 4.53 W/m-K at 18.2 weight percent filler loading, they do not exhibit good phase-change material qualities due to a low solidification enthalpy even at low cooling rates. Alternatively, the BN-Ery composites have shown promising results with a solidification enthalpy of 225.14 J/g and a melting enthalpy of 385.84 J/g at a heat rate of 5 °C/min. These samples, however, have so far exhibited lower thermal conductivity values as high as 2.73 W/m-K at 15.5 weight percent filler loading. In these samples, the boron nitride scaffolds show good anisotropic heat transfer due to the use of ice-template method. However, since the polyol crystals radiate from the BN pillars, they cause the composite to have isotropic overall heat transfer.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Jiahua Zhu

First Reader

Dr. Harry Michael Cheung

Second Reader

Dr. Edward Evans



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.