Engineered Material Could Help Cut Power Plant Heat Emissions

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Engineered Material Could Help Cut Power Plant Heat Emissions ElsevierEnergy WestVirginiaU

United Kingdom News, United Kingdom Headlines

By Hussain AhmedMar 28 2023Reviewed by Megan Craig, M.Sc. Thermoelectric oxide ceramics have emerged as a promising solution for waste heat recovery and clean energy generation. By harnessing the heat generated from sources like power plants, these ceramics can power thermoelectric generators, reducing harmful emissions and contributing to the goal of net-zero emissions. However, the efficiency of polycrystalline oxide ceramics has been a longstanding challenge.

One of the significant advantages of thermoelectric devices is that they have no moving parts and operate silently, making them low-maintenance and durable. Related StoriesThey have a hard structure and are commonly used for making products like pottery, porcelain, clay bricks, and cement. However, when it comes to large-scale TEG applications, engineers face difficulties due to the polycrystalline structure of oxide ceramics.

To improve the performance of the polycrystalline oxide ceramics further, the researchers introduced dopants, which are metal ions, into the material intentionally. Key Findings Using grain boundary engineering and dopant segregation, this work revealed important nanostructure engineering techniques required to increase the Seebeck coefficient of oxide ceramics. The experimental results confirm that the performance of oxide ceramics can be significantly enhanced by engineering the grain boundaries and utilizing dopants that segregate to these boundaries.

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