Thermoelectrochemistry for harvesting waste heat

Conference Dates

July 31-August 4, 2017


Current devices to harvest heat have significant limitations, and typically consist of intricate mechanical systems, such as either a petrol engine or a steam turbine. Thermoelectrochemistry is a simple, scalable technique for the direct electrochemical conversion of thermal energy into useful electricity.1, 2 It is driven by the entropy change associated with a redox process, resulting in a temperature dependence of the electrode potential (the Seebeck effect).1 The greater this dependence (the larger the Seebeck effect) the more efficient the power generation through this method.3 If there is a temperature difference between two identical electrodes, this difference can be converted into electricity using electrochemistry; such systems are ideal for harvesting low-grade heat that would otherwise go to waste.2 Ionic liquids have solvent properties appropriate for thermoelectrochemical systems such as wide liquid temperature ranges, low vapour pressure, low flamability and favourable interactions with charged, redox active species which can lead to a large entropy change.2

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