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A Thermoelectrochemical Converter Using High-Temperature Polybenzimidazole (PBI) Membranes for Harvesting Heat Energy

Cite this: ACS Appl. Energy Mater. 2020, 3, 1, 614–624
Publication Date (Web):November 26, 2019
https://doi.org/10.1021/acsaem.9b01830
Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    To meet the rising energy demand and efficiently utilize a larger amount of waste heat energy from various devices and systems, here we report an innovative thermoelectrochemical converter which utilizes the electrochemical potential of a hydrogen pressure differential applied across a proton conductive membrane. The amount of energy available to the external load is the difference in electrical potential between that generated during a high-temperature expansion stage and that required during a low-temperature compression stage. In this work, various phosphoric acid (PA)-doped polybenzimidazole (PBI) membranes, DiOH-PBI, para-PBI, and m/p-PBI, are prepared via the poly(phosphoric acid) (PPA) process and investigated to understand how the membrane chemistry affected device performance. When operating a laboratory scale device at 20 °C/200 °C and a pressure ratio of 770, DiOH-PBI exhibited the best performance (maximum current density of 43 mA/cm2, peak power density of 0.52 mW/cm2, and net efficiency of 17.1%) as compared with the other two PBIs due to its high proton conductivity. Further increases in temperature or pressure differentials are expected to significantly improve the device output. All the reported results are consistent with the Nernst equation and thus further confirm the working principle of the thermoelectric conversion technique. This transformational approach may allow for efficient generation of electricity from many diverse forms of waste heat.

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    Cited By

    This article is cited by 5 publications.

    1. Karthik Arunagiri, John M. Turssline, Christopher G. Arges. Purifying Hydrogen from Dilute Hydrogen–Natural Gas Mixtures Using HT-PEM Electrochemical Hydrogen Pumps. ACS Energy Letters 2024, 9 (6) , 2912-2919. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsenergylett.4c00746
    2. Timothy F. Miller. Parametric modeling of a solid state Ericsson cycle heat engine. Energy 2021, 236 , 121413. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2021.121413
    3. Ilkay Ozaytekin. Improving proton conductivity of poly(oxyphenylene benzimidazole) membranes with sulfonation and magnetite addition. Iranian Polymer Journal 2021, 30 (10) , 1073-1088. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13726-021-00960-7
    4. Jiahui Liu, Wanli Peng, Houcheng Zhang. Performance evaluation of a hybrid alkali metal thermal electric converter-two stage thermoelectric generator system. Applied Thermal Engineering 2021, 191 , 116820. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2021.116820
    5. David Aili, Jingshuai Yang, Katja Jankova, Dirk Henkensmeier, Qingfeng Li. From polybenzimidazoles to polybenzimidazoliums and polybenzimidazolides. Journal of Materials Chemistry A 2020, 8 (26) , 12854-12886. https://doi.org/10.1039/D0TA01788D