The present study includes thermal stability of some fatty acids as phase change materials (PCMs). The selected fatty acids were stearic, palmitic, myristic and lauric acid with melting temperatures between 40-63degreesC and industrial-grade with 90-95 % purity. Latent heat storage capacity and phase transition temperature of the PCMs were determined by Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) technique as a function of after repeated thermal cycles such as 40, 410, 700 and 910. The present work also comprises the investigation of corrosion resistance of some construction materials to the fatty acids over a long period. The containment materials tested were. stainless steel (SS 304 L), carbon steel (steel C20), aluminium (Al) and copper (Cu). Gravimetric analysis as mass loss (mg/cm(2)), corrosion rate (mg/day) and a microscopic or matellographic investigation were performed for corrosion tests after 910 thermal cycles. DSC measurements showed that all fatty acids investigated as PCMs have a good thermal stability as a function of latent heat and phase transition temperature range for an actual middle-term thermal energy storage utility. However, in long-term solar thermal applications, the palmitic acid and myristic acid may be considered more suitable PCMs than the others. From the gravimetric and metallographic results, it can be concluded that stainless steel (SS 304L) with chromium oxide (Cr2O3) surface layer and Al with aluminium oxide (Al2O3) surface layer are essentially compatible with the investigated fatty acids. Carbon steel (Steel C20) and Cupper (Cu) are only preferantially compatible with PCMs. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All tights reserved.