Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Nanotube Thermocells Hold Promise For Converting Heat Waste To Energy

Baratunde Cola
Baratunde Cola

Abstract:
A study published in the American Chemical Society's journal Nano Letters reveals that thermocells based on carbon nanotube electrodes might eventually be used for generating electrical energy from heat discarded by chemical plants, automobiles and solar cell farms.

Nanotube Thermocells Hold Promise For Converting Heat Waste To Energy

Atlanta, GA | Posted on March 3rd, 2010

The research was a joint collaboration between Baratunde Cola, assistant professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech, and an international team of researchers from the U.S., Australia, China, India and the Philippines.

Cola, director of Georgia Tech's NanoEngineered Systems and Transport Research Group (NEST), described the study as a breakthrough in efficiently harvesting electrical energy from various sources of exhaust or wasted heat.

"Our NEST Lab was fortunate to team with Dr. Ray Baughman's NanoTech Institute at UT Dallas and Dr. Gordon Wallace's Intelligent Polymer Research Institute in Wollongong, Australia, in the final year of a long collaboration that solved key technical problems," he said. "We brought fresh eyes, as well as our knowledge and experience with heat transfer engineering from the nanoscale to the scale of practical devices to the problem, which provided a key missing link. The team will together work to enable additional breakthroughs that are required for this technology to reach its full commercial potential."

Efficiently harvesting the thermal energy currently wasted in industrial plants or along pipelines could also create local sources of clean energy that in turn could be used to lower costs and shrink an organization's energy footprint.

The new thermocells use nanotube electrodes that provide a threefold increase in energy conversion efficiency over conventional electrodes.

One of the demonstrated thermocells looks just like the button cell batteries used in watches, calculators and other small electronics. One key difference, however, is that these new thermocells can continuously generate electricity, instead of running down like a battery. The research netted other thermocells, as well, including electrolyte-filled, textile-separated nanotube sheets that can be wrapped around pipes carrying hot waste streams from manufacturing or electrical power plants. The temperature difference between the pipe and its surroundings produces an electrochemical potential difference between the carbon nanotube sheets, which thermocells utilize to generate electricity.

The research team estimates that multi-walled carbon nanotubes in large thermocells could eventually produce power at a cost of about $2.76 per watt from freely available waste energy, compared with a cost of $4.31 per watt for solar cells, which can only be used when the sun is shining. On a smaller scale, button cell-sized thermocells could be used to power sensors or electronic circuits.

The new thermocells take advantage of the exceptional electronic, mechanical, thermal and chemical properties of carbon nanotubes. The nanotubes' giant surface area and unique electronic structure afforded by their small diameter and nearly one-dimensional structure offer high current densities, which enhance the output of electrical power and the efficiency of energy harvesting.

"Georgians have worked with state support, and in partnership with initiatives such as the Strategic Energy Institute at Georgia Tech, to realize significant gains in renewable energy production," Cola said. "But to become a leading energy state, we must increasingly explore new ways to extract and utilize all forms of energy. Harvesting waste heat as electricity is one direction our NEST Lab takes with international partners to help provide increased renewable energy options for Georgia and the world."

This research was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation, The Welch Foundation and the Australian Research Council.

Cola recently received the 2009 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award for his work on solar energy conversion. As director of the NEST Lab, his research focuses on realizing the benefits of nanoscience in applications related to waste thermal energy harvesting, solar energy conversion, and thermal management of electronics and energy systems.

####

About Georgia Institute of Technology
The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the nation's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities, Georgia Tech's more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Don Fernandez
404-894-6016

Copyright © Georgia Institute of Technology

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Revealing the nature of magnetic interactions in manganese oxide: New technique for probing local magnetic interactions confirms 'superexchange' model that explains how the material gets its long-range magnetic order May 25th, 2016

Gigantic ultrafast spin currents: Scientists from TU Wien (Vienna) are proposing a new method for creating extremely strong spin currents. They are essential for spintronics, a technology that could replace today's electronics May 25th, 2016

Diamonds closer to becoming ideal semiconductors: Researchers find new method for doping single crystals of diamond May 25th, 2016

Supercrystals with new architecture can enhance drug synthesis May 24th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Revealing the nature of magnetic interactions in manganese oxide: New technique for probing local magnetic interactions confirms 'superexchange' model that explains how the material gets its long-range magnetic order May 25th, 2016

Light can 'heal' defects in new solar cell materials: Defects in some new electronic materials can be removed by making ions move under illumination May 24th, 2016

Supercrystals with new architecture can enhance drug synthesis May 24th, 2016

Nanoscale Trojan horses treat inflammation May 24th, 2016

Possible Futures

Revealing the nature of magnetic interactions in manganese oxide: New technique for probing local magnetic interactions confirms 'superexchange' model that explains how the material gets its long-range magnetic order May 25th, 2016

Gigantic ultrafast spin currents: Scientists from TU Wien (Vienna) are proposing a new method for creating extremely strong spin currents. They are essential for spintronics, a technology that could replace today's electronics May 25th, 2016

Diamonds closer to becoming ideal semiconductors: Researchers find new method for doping single crystals of diamond May 25th, 2016

Supercrystals with new architecture can enhance drug synthesis May 24th, 2016

Academic/Education

Graphene: Progress, not quantum leaps May 23rd, 2016

Smithsonian Science Education Center and National Space Society Team Up for Next-Generation Space Education Program "Enterprise In Space" May 11th, 2016

The University of Colorado Boulder, USA, combines Raman spectroscopy and nanoindentation for improved materials characterisation May 9th, 2016

Albertan Science Lab Opens in India May 7th, 2016

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Programmable materials find strength in molecular repetition May 23rd, 2016

Nanotubes are beacons in cancer-imaging technique: Rice University researchers use spectral triangulation to pinpoint location of tumors May 21st, 2016

Unveiling the electron's motion in a carbon nanocoil: Development of a precise resistivity measurement system for quasi-one-dimensional nanomaterials using a focused ion beam May 16th, 2016

New research shows how silver could be the key to gold-standard flexible gadgets: Silver nanowires are an ideal material for current and future flexible touch-screen technologies May 13th, 2016

Announcements

Revealing the nature of magnetic interactions in manganese oxide: New technique for probing local magnetic interactions confirms 'superexchange' model that explains how the material gets its long-range magnetic order May 25th, 2016

Gigantic ultrafast spin currents: Scientists from TU Wien (Vienna) are proposing a new method for creating extremely strong spin currents. They are essential for spintronics, a technology that could replace today's electronics May 25th, 2016

Diamonds closer to becoming ideal semiconductors: Researchers find new method for doping single crystals of diamond May 25th, 2016

Supercrystals with new architecture can enhance drug synthesis May 24th, 2016

Energy

Gigantic ultrafast spin currents: Scientists from TU Wien (Vienna) are proposing a new method for creating extremely strong spin currents. They are essential for spintronics, a technology that could replace today's electronics May 25th, 2016

Light can 'heal' defects in new solar cell materials: Defects in some new electronic materials can be removed by making ions move under illumination May 24th, 2016

Technique improves the efficacy of fuel cells: Research demonstrates a new phase transition from metal to ionic conductor May 18th, 2016

This 'nanocavity' may improve ultrathin solar panels, video cameras and more May 16th, 2016

Alliances/Trade associations/Partnerships/Distributorships

The CEA Announces Expanded Collaboration with Intel to Advance Cutting-edge Research and Innovation in Key Digital Areas May 17th, 2016

Solliance realizes first up-scaled Perovskite based PV modules with 10% efficiency: Holst Centre, imec and ECN pave the road to upscaling Perovskite PV modules May 10th, 2016

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. Expands Distribution Network in US and Internationally May 9th, 2016

Albertan Science Lab Opens in India May 7th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic