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

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics October 15th, 2017

Quantum manipulation power for quantum information processing gets a boost: Improving the efficiency of quantum heat engines involves reducing the number of photons in a cavity, ultimately impacting quantum manipulation power October 14th, 2017

Discoveries

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

Rice U. study: Vibrating nanoparticles interact: Placing nanodisks in groups can change their vibrational frequencies October 16th, 2017

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics October 15th, 2017

Announcements

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

Rice U. study: Vibrating nanoparticles interact: Placing nanodisks in groups can change their vibrational frequencies October 16th, 2017

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics October 15th, 2017

Energy

New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater: Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions October 4th, 2017

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

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

On the road to fire-free, lithium-ion batteries made with asphalt October 12th, 2017

Organic/inorganic sulfur may be key for safe rechargeable lithium batteries October 12th, 2017

How to draw electricity from the bloodstream: A one-dimensional fluidic nanogenerator with a high power-conversion efficiency September 11th, 2017

A revolution in lithium-ion batteries is becoming more realistic September 5th, 2017

Research partnerships

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

Rice U. lab surprised by ultraflat magnets: Researchers create atom-thick alloys with unanticipated magnetic properties October 13th, 2017

More 22 of 59,885 Print all In new window Leti to Present Update of CoolCube/3DVLSI Technologies Development at 2017 IEEE S3S: Future Developments and Tape-Out Vehicles to Be Presented during Oct. 17 Workshop October 12th, 2017

Seeing the next dimension of computer chips: Researchers image perfectly smooth side-surfaces of 3-D silicon crystals with a scanning tunneling microscope, paving the way for smaller and faster computing devices October 11th, 2017

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