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Boosting gas mileage by turning engine heat into electricity

Date:
July 22, 2015
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Automakers are looking for ways to improve their fleets' average fuel efficiency, and scientists may have a new way to help them. The team reports the development of a material that could convert engine heat that's otherwise wasted into electrical energy to help keep a car running -- and reduce the need for fuels. It could also have applications in aerospace, manufacturing and other sectors.
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Automakers are looking for ways to improve their fleets' average fuel efficiency, and scientists may have a new way to help them. In a report in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, one team reports the development of a material that could convert engine heat that's otherwise wasted into electrical energy to help keep a car running -- and reduce the need for fuels. It could also have applications in aerospace, manufacturing and other sectors.

In 2012, the Obama administration announced fuel-efficiency standards that would require U.S. vehicles to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Improving gas mileage could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and global dependence on fossil fuels. One approach scientists are exploring to help address these issues involves capturing waste heat from engines and other power systems and turning it into electricity. Many compounds can do this but are heavy, costly, toxic or only operate at high temperatures. Ian A. Kinloch, Robert Freer and colleagues sought new alternatives.

The researchers started with a material called strontium titanium dioxide and added a small amount of graphene, a stable material with excellent conductive properties. The resulting composite was able to capture and convert heat into electric current efficiently over a broad temperature range.


Story Source:

Materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yue Lin, Colin Norman, Deepanshu Srivastava, Feridoon Azough, Li Wang, Mark Robbins, Kevin Simpson, Robert Freer, Ian A. Kinloch. Thermoelectric Power Generation from Lanthanum Strontium Titanium Oxide at Room Temperature through the Addition of Graphene. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2015; 150720134535003 DOI: 10.1021/acsami.5b03522

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Boosting gas mileage by turning engine heat into electricity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150722115531.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2015, July 22). Boosting gas mileage by turning engine heat into electricity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150722115531.htm
American Chemical Society. "Boosting gas mileage by turning engine heat into electricity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150722115531.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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