SUBJECT: Ph.D. Proposal Presentation
BY: Ali Hussain Kazim
TIME: Friday, December 9, 2016, 9:00 a.m.
PLACE: Love Building, 210
TITLE: Electrochemical energy generation from waste heat using thermo-electrochemical cells
COMMITTEE: Dr. Baratunde A. Cola, Chair (ME)
Dr. Sheldon M. Jeter (ME)
Dr. Peter J. Hesketh (ME)
Dr. Marta Hatzell (ME)
Dr. Gleb Yushin (MSE)


Thermo-electrochemical cells (thermocells) are an inexpensive technology to harvest waste heat by converting a temperature difference to electricity with no moving parts. However, low power conversion efficiency due to ohmic, interfacial charge transfer, and mass transfer resistances has limited its use in commercial applications. This work explores improving electrochemical properties of the standard electrolyte and implementation of thermocell in a cold plate architecture. First, carbon nanotubes and a poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)−poly(styrenesulfonate) composite have been introduced in the standard electrolyte for thermocell, which has decreased its ohmic and interfacial charge transfer resistances. Second, a commercial application of cold plate has been modified and proven to supplement its existing function of providing cooling with that of production of electricity. This not only increases the functionality of the cold plate but also addresses the critical limitation of thermocells (i.e. tuning ohmic resistance between electrodes by changing the flow rate).