7.8 Electrochemical conversion of waste heat to electricity
Low grade heat is widely available in large amounts. Examples of such sources are: geothermal heat or waste heat from power production or industrial furnaces. However, heat cannot be easily transported over large distances, making it hard to find heating applications for the waste heat.
The project aims at developing a novel technology for the conversion of waste heat into electricity. Electricity is much easier to transport which opens up opportunities for broader application of this form of energy. Moreover it is expected that this technology can become economically feasible for the conversion of very low temperature waste heat to electricity, lower than is possible with state-of-the-art systems. This unlocks new sources of energy which are otherwise hardly applied.
The system combines thermal separation technology with a novel electrochemical cell. Compared to the state of the art systems on the market this system is more flexible, simpler and can also be economical at smaller size then the conventional technologies. Distillation is a well-known thermal separation technology and the novel electrochemical cell has already been demonstrated on lab scale at high efficiencies and current densities. Currently the technology is not economical with the used materials and operation mode. Therefore, this project will cover operation mode, material development, assembly and integration of the two separate parts of the technology. Furthermore, the technology will be optimized using scientific insight in the theoretical mechanism.
We are looking for a candidate with an MSc degree in the field of process engineering, electrochemical engineering or environmental engineering with both modeling and experimental skills.
The strategic project will be part of new to define research theme within Wetsus.
Promotor: to be defined
Wetsus supervisor: dr. ir. Martijn Wagterveld
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Wetsus, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands