by Staff Writers
Salt Lake City UT (SPX) Mar 21, 2017
Thanks to the discovery of a new material by University of Utah engineers, jewelry such as a ring and your body heat could generate enough electricity to power a body sensor, or a cooking pan could charge a cellphone in just a few hours.
The team, led by University of Utah materials science and engineering professor Ashutosh Tiwari, has found that a combination of the chemical elements calcium, cobalt and terbium can create an efficient, inexpensive and bio-friendly material that can generate electricity through a thermoelectric process involving heat and cold air.
Their findings were published in a new paper March 20 in the latest issue of Scientific Reports. The first author on the paper is University of Utah materials science and engineering postdoctoral researcher, Shrikant Saini.
Thermoelectric effect is a process where the temperature difference in a material generates an electrical voltage. When one end of the material is hot and the other end is cold, charge carriers from the hot end move through the material to the cold end, generating an electrical voltage. The material needs less than a one-degree difference in temperature to produce a detectable voltage.
For years, researchers have been looking for the right kind of material that makes the process more efficient and produces more electricity yet is not toxic. There are other materials that can generate power this way, such as cadmium-, telluride- or mercury-based materials, but those are toxic to humans.
The unique advantage to this new material by Tiwari's team is that it is inexpensive to produce and, mostly importantly, bio-friendly and eco-friendly while still being efficient at generating electricity, Tiwari says. Therefore, it could be safe to use with humans.
"There are no toxic chemicals involved," he says. "It's very efficient and can be used for a lot of day-to-day applications."
The applications for this new material are endless, Tiwari says. It could be built into jewelry that uses body heat to power implantable medical devices such as blood-glucose monitors or heart monitors. It could be used to charge mobile devices through cooking pans, or in cars where it draws from the heat of the engine. Airplanes could generate extra power by using heat from within the cabin versus the cold air outside. Power plants also could use the material to produce more electricity from the escaped heat the plant generates.
"In power plants, about 60 percent of energy is wasted," postdoctoral researcher, Saini, says. "With this, you could reuse some of that 60 percent."
Finally, Tiwari says it could be used in developing countries where electricity is scarce and the only source of energy is the fire in stoves.
The Technology and Venture Commercialization Office of the University of Utah has filed a U.S. patent for the material, and the team will initially develop it for use in cars and for biosensors, Tiwari says.
In addition to Tiwari and Saini, co-authors on the paper include graduate students Haritha Sree Yaddanapudi, Kun Tian, Yinong Yin and David Magginetti.
Nuremberg, Germany (SPX) Mar 17, 2017
Chemists at Friedrich-Alexander Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg (FAU) have developed a process in which nitrogen oxides generated during industrial processes can be used in the manufacture of colourants and medicines. Using the method, businesses will in future be able to combine the decontamination of exhaust fumes with the production of new substances. Nitrogen oxides are a major environme ... read more
University of Utah
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|