Harvesting Low-Grade Heat via Thermal-Induced Electric Double Layer Redistribution of Nanoporous Graphene Films

Zhe YANG, Fei DANG, Chen ZHANG, Shuocheng SUN, Wei ZHAO*, Ximeng LI*, Yilun LIU, Xi CHEN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this work, a closed thermoelectric cell based on a nanoporous graphene electrode is developed to convert low-grade thermal energy to electric energy. The thermoelectric cell consists of two nanoporous graphene electrodes in contact with the hot and cold ends, respectively, encapsulated in a KCl electrolyte, and the energy is harvested from the redistribution of the electric double layer (EDL) of the graphene electrodes under different temperatures. Because of the large specific surface and conductivity of nanoporous graphene electrodes, the electric voltage is 168.91 mV with the hot-end temperature of 61 °C and cold-end temperature of 26 °C, corresponding to the thermoelectric coefficient of 4.54 mV·°C-1, which is much larger than that of the conventional thermoelectric generator. The specific power output achieves 1.38 mW·g-1 and is also significantly larger than the previous EDL-based thermoelectric generator. System performance with the concentration of the KCl electrolyte is examined. The proposed thermoelectric cell can harvest low-grade waste heat from the ambient environment, which may have potential applications in energy supply, wireless powered devices, outdoor survival, and so forth. © 2019 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7713-7719
Number of pages7
JournalLangmuir
Volume35
Issue number24
Early online date23 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Y.L. acknowledges the support from the National Key Research and Development Program of China (no. 2016YFB0700300) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 11572239). The work is supported by Earth Engineering Center and Center for Advanced Materials for Energy and Environment at Columbia University. X.C. acknowledges the support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (nos. 11872302 and 11572238), Key R & D Program of Shaanxi (2018ZDXM-GY-131).

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