Exploiting low-grade waste heat to produce electricity through supercapacitor containing carbon electrodes and ionic liquid electrolytes
Journal article, 2022

Low-grade thermal energy harvesting presents great challenges to traditional thermoelectric systems based on the Seebeck effect, the thermogalvanic effect, and the Soret effect due to fixed temperature gradient and low voltage output. In this study, we report an ionic thermoelectric system, essentially a supercapacitor (SC) containing an ionic liquid (IL) electrolyte and activated carbon electrodes, which works on the thermocapacitive effect and does not require any fixed temperature gradient, rather it works in a homogeneously changing temperature. A systematic investigation is carried out on SCs containing two different ILs, 1-Ethyl-3-methylimidazolium bis (trifluoromethylsulfonyl), EMIm TFSI, and 1-Ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate, EMIm OAc. A high voltage output of 176 mV is achieved for EMIm TFSI containing SC by exposing just to 60 °C environment. Moreover, a large voltage of 502 mV is recovered from the SC upon subjecting to heat after one electrical charge/discharge cycle. A system containing two SCs in series demonstrates a significant voltage of 947 mV. The observed performance difference between the two ILs is rationalized in terms of the extent of asymmetry in the interfaces of the electrical double layer that essentially originates from different diffusivity of individual ions. The mechanism can be applied to a plethora of ILs to exploit low-grade heat to store electricity without a fixed temperature gradient, opening up the possibility to merge different scientific communities and enrich this rising research field.

Self-diffusion coefficient

Ionic liquid

Supercapacitor

Low-grade heat

Thermal charge

Temperature gradient

Author

Mohammad Mazharul Haque

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Electronics Material and Systems

Iqbaal Abdurrokhman

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Anna Martinelli Group

Alexander Idström

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Lars Evenäs Group

Qi Li

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Electronics Material and Systems

Azega Rajendra Babu Kalai Arasi

Wallenberg Wood Science Center (WWSC)

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Electronics Material and Systems

Anna Martinelli

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Anna Martinelli Group

Lars Evenäs

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Lars Evenäs Group

Wallenberg Wood Science Center (WWSC)

Per Lundgren

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Electronics Material and Systems

Peter Enoksson

Wallenberg Wood Science Center (WWSC)

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Electronics Material and Systems

Enoaviatech AB

Electrochimica Acta

0013-4686 (ISSN)

Vol. 403 139640

Subject Categories

Energy Engineering

Materials Chemistry

Other Chemical Engineering

DOI

10.1016/j.electacta.2021.139640

More information

Latest update

1/14/2022