Tag Archive: Electricity


 Among the many applications of flexible thermoelectric materials is a wristwatch powered by the temperature difference between the human body and the surrounding environment. But if you wanted this watch made of low-cost carbon nanotube (CNT)/polymer materials, you would currently need a piece of fabric with an area of about 500 cm2, which is about 50 times greater than the area of a typical wristwatch.

In order to make such applications more practical, a team of researchers has developed a new multi-layer CNT/polymer design and demonstrated that it has a greatly increased power output compared to previous designs. The new CNT/polymer, which the researchers call “Power Felt,” also has the potential to be much less expensive than other thermoelectric materials.

The research team, which includes Ph.D. student Corey Hewitt and Professor David Carroll from Wake Forest University, along with collaborators from other institutions, has published a paper on the new thermoelectric fabric design in a recent issue of Nano Letters.

Although thermoelectrics have been studied and used commercially for several decades, they’re traditionally made of inorganic materials, such as bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3). But recent research has shown that organic materials could provide a promising alternative, with advantages such as low cost, ease of production, and flexibility. Yet for now, organic materials still lag behind inorganic ones in terms of performance.

Continue reading

Advertisements

In Durham, England, corpses will soon be used to generate electricity.

A crematorium is installing turbines in its burners that will convert waste heat from the combustion of each corpse into as much as 150 kilowatt-hours of juice — enough to power 1,500 televisions for an hour. The facility plans to sell the electricity to local power companies.

Some might find this concept creepy. Others might be pleased to learn that the process “makes cremation much greener by utilizing its by-products,” in the words of cremation engineer Steve Looker, owner and chief executive officer of the Florida-based company B&L Cremation Systems, which is unaffiliated with the Durham enterprise.

In Europe, tightening regulations on crematorium emissions, coupled with the high price of energy, will lead more and more facilities to go the way of Durham in the future, Looker said.

Continue reading

Toilet

We each produce 2.5 litres of the stuff a day and a total of 6.4 trillion litres globally, but until now it has been widely regarded as a rather unpleasant waste product.

However, a team of UK scientists reckon they may have found an extremely useful application for urine by turning it into electricity.

Dr Ioannis Ieropoulos and his team of scientists at the University of the West of England, Bristol, published research this week investigating whether urine could be used in microbial fuel cells.

The paper concludes that urine is rich in chemicals that can effectively be used in the cathode half of a fuel cell to react with bacteria in the anode.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: