Researchers Have Developed New Material That Can Transform Waste Heat into Electricity

A collaboration of researchers from the University of Houston, Cambridge, Morgan State University and others have been working on developing a new material that is capable of producing twice as much power output than anything similar.  It’s a thermoelectric material and has been proven as more than capable to do the job of producing electricity.


Thermoelectrics are measured either by how efficient they are or by how much power they can produce. If the material is found to have a power factor of 40 or above then it’s classed as good. The new material that the researchers have developed is made up of titanium, antimony, nibium, iron, and niobium and has been rated as having a power factor of 106!  That’s pretty impressive as what this means in real-life is that rather than put out just 5 or 6 watts per square centimeter that’s normally produced from thermoelectric heat reclamation materials, this new stuff pumps out a whopping 22 watts per square centimeter!

This new way of creating electricity may not be any more efficient than any method that’s currently being used, but at least it’s a start. Coal plants or other large-scale heat waste sources could benefit from using the new compound.  In using the new material, the companies would not only increase the profitability of the plant but also reduce emissions and ultimately slow down the damage that climate change is causing to the environment.



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