Vehicle mileage might be increased by 5% and power plant industrial process performance may be increased by up to 10%, thanks to physicists at the University of Houston’s physics department and the Texas Center for Superconductivity.
The physicists studied non-toxic materials, including tin telluride that had iridium added to it for waste heat recovery. Earlier work failed because lead-containing telluride, despite its strong thermoelectric properties, is too dangerous to be used commercially.
The physicists research demonstrates the ability to build a device that has the ability to capture waste heat. So, industrial smokestacks, power plants, and vehicle tailpipes will generate waste heat that can be converted to electricity to boost productivity. Capturing car exhaust and converting it to electricity is only one example of how the process can be used. Used in power plants, the technology can be used to raise the conversion rate of coal-fired power plants from 40% to as much as 48%.
This research comes at a time when energy consumption is not only growing in America but across the globe. In its annual forecast for the next 30 years, ExxonMobile predicted that the demand for energy across the world will increase by 35% by 2040.