Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Waste heat research leads the way for reduction of fossil fuels

PhD candidate Priyanka Jood is pictured with her supervisors Dr Germanas Peleckis and Professor Xiaolin Wang
close
PhD candidate Priyanka Jood is pictured with her supervisors Dr Germanas Peleckis and Professor Xiaolin Wang close

Abstract:
Thermoelectric power generation is expected to play an increasingly important role in meeting the energy challenges of the future.

And helping to meet that energy challenge is PhD student, Priyanka Jood, from the Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials (ISEM) whose groundbreaking research has just been published in the American Chemical Society journal, Nano Letters.

Waste heat research leads the way for reduction of fossil fuels

Wollongong, Australia | Posted on October 4th, 2011

Priyanka, the first author of the paper, supervised by Dr Germanas Peleckis and Professor Xiaolin Wang, is working on thermoelectric materials which can generate electricity directly from waste heat. Dr Peleckis, Professor Wang, and the Director of the ISEM, Professor Shi Dou, are co-authors of the Nano Letters paper.

The UOW team along with researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in New York have created large marble-size pellets of thermoelectric nanomaterials. Priyanka spent about a year working alongside the US team.

The RPI team are also co-authors in the paper. The team was led by Professor Ganpati Ramanath and the other team members who contributed were Rutvik J. Mehta, Yanliang Zhang, Richard W. Siegel and Theo Borca-Tasciuc.

Waste heat is sometimes referred to as secondary heat or low-grade heat which is heat produced by machines, electrical equipment and industrial processes. It is a byproduct of nearly all electrical devices and industrial processes from driving a car to flying an aircraft or operating a power plant.

Now the UOW team based at the Innovation Campus along with engineering researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed new nanomaterials that could lead to techniques for better capturing and putting this waste heat to work.

The key ingredients for making marble-sized pellets of the new material are aluminium and a common everyday microwave oven.

Harvesting electricity from waste heat requires a material that is good at conducting electricity but poor at conducting heat. One of the most promising candidates for this job is zinc oxide (ZnO) -- a non-toxic, inexpensive material with a high melting point.

While nanoengineering techniques exist for boosting the electrical conductivity of zinc oxide, the material's high thermal conductivity is a roadblock to its effectiveness in collecting and converting waste heat. Because thermal and electrical conductivity are related properties, it's very difficult to decrease one without also diminishing the other.

Now the UOW and US-based teams have demonstrated a new way to decrease zinc oxide's thermal conductivity without reducing its electrical conductivity. The innovation involves adding minute amounts of aluminium to zinc oxide, and processing the materials in a microwave oven.

The research could lead to new technologies for harvesting waste heat and creating highly energy efficient cars, aircraft, power plants, and other systems.

Researchers say harvesting waste heat is a very attractive proposition, since the heat can be converted into electricity and used to power devices such as a car that is creating the heat in the first place. This would reduce the world's dependence on fossil fuels.

Priyanka said it was possible that even further power factor enhancements using nano-structured zinc oxide might be possible making this material highly valuable for thermoelectrical industrial applications.

She said that researchers at ISEM are continuing to explore new and novel methods for producing high performance thermoelectric materials as a part of their research program in energy storage and energy conversion materials.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
University of Wollongong
Wollongong NSW 2522 Australia
UOW Switchboard: +61 2 4221 3555
Fax: +61 (02) 4221 3128

Copyright © University of Wollongong

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 Links

Results of the Australian Research Council funded study entitled “Al-Doped Zinc Oxide Nanocomposites with Enhanced Thermoelectric Properties,” can be seen online at Nano Letters at this site:

Related News Press

News and information

Fast, efficient sperm tails inspire nanobiotechnology December 5th, 2016

Journal Nanotechnology Progress International (JONPI) Volume 6, issue 2 coming out soon! December 5th, 2016

Infrared instrumentation leader secures exclusive use of Vantablack coating December 5th, 2016

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified: Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach December 5th, 2016

Discoveries

Fast, efficient sperm tails inspire nanobiotechnology December 5th, 2016

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified: Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach December 5th, 2016

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses: Medicine diffusion capsule could locally treat multiple ailments and diseases over several weeks December 3rd, 2016

Announcements

Fast, efficient sperm tails inspire nanobiotechnology December 5th, 2016

Journal Nanotechnology Progress International (JONPI) Volume 6, issue 2 coming out soon! December 5th, 2016

Infrared instrumentation leader secures exclusive use of Vantablack coating December 5th, 2016

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified: Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach December 5th, 2016

Energy

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Throwing new light on printed organic solar cells December 1st, 2016

Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells: Researchers combine quantum physics and photosynthesis to make discovery that could lead to highly efficient, green solar cells November 30th, 2016

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics/Energy storage

Novel Electrode Structure Provides New Promise for Lithium-Sulfur Batteries December 3rd, 2016

A Phone That Charges in Seconds? UCF Scientists Bring it Closer to Reality November 21st, 2016

'Back to the Future' inspires solar nanotech-powered clothing November 15th, 2016

Vesper a Finalist for Two ACE Awards: Ultimate Products and Innovator of the Year -- Industry’s first piezoelectric MEMS microphone and Vesper CTO Bobby Littrell recognized for prestigious electronics-industry awards November 10th, 2016

Research partnerships

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Quantum obstacle course changes material from superconductor to insulator December 1st, 2016

Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics November 28th, 2016

Single photon converter -- a key component of quantum internet November 28th, 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