Taguchi and ANOVA analysis for the optimization of the microencapsulation of a volatile phase change material

Abdullah Naseer Mustapha, Yan Zhang, Zhibing Zhang, Yulong Ding, Qingchun Yuan, Yongliang Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The microencapsulation of volatile phase change materials is an important and challenging area for low-temperature thermal energy storage. Our previous studies have effectively addressed the challenge of long-term volatile core retention and also indicated that the quality of the obtained poly(urea-formaldehyde) microcapsules is highly affected by various process parameters, including reaction temperature, initial pH, reaction time, and homogenization speed. In this paper, the Taguchi orthogonal array has been employed to optimise controllable process parameters to identify the most synergistic combination, in order to maximise the payload, yield, and encapsulation efficiency. The Taguchi signal-to-noise ratio results substantiated that the most efficient combination of parameters was 3 h reaction time, pH 3.5, 55 °C reaction temperature, and 1200 rpm homogenization speed. With this combination of parameters, microcapsules with superbly high payload of 95.2%, as well as a yield of 30.5% and encapsulation efficiency of 71.1% were amalgamated. In addition, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was also utilised to demonstrate the mean response magnitudes (% contribution) of each of the four controllable process parameters, in terms of contribution for the payload, yield, and encapsulation efficiency. Overall, it was indicated that the temperature is the most influential parameter at 83.1% contribution, followed by pH at 6.8%, reaction time at 5.2%, and homogenization speed at 4.9%. Such findings in this work postulate the fundamental insights into maximising the output of the formulation conditions, which in turn is aimed to minimise the time and cost of production of the microcapsules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-680
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Materials Research and Technology
Early online date16 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Funding: The authors express their sincere gratitude to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for the funding provided to this project (EP/N000714/1 and EP/N021142/1)


  • ANOVA analysis
  • Microencapsulation
  • Phase change materials
  • Process optimization
  • Taguchi
  • Volatile organic compounds


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