Reversible Ammonia Batteries Convert Waste Heat to Electricity

Source: Penn State

A research team from Penn State is developing a method to harvest low-grade heat as electricity using reversible ammonia batteries. This carbon-neutral method has the potential to store and convert the waste heat into electricity and at a lower cost than current solid-state devices.

“The use of waste heat for power production would allow additional electricity generation without any added consumption of fossil fuels,”

Bruce E. Logan, Evan Pugh Professor and Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering.

The team is a using thermally regenerated ammonia-based battery, consisting of copper electrodes with ammonia added only to the anolyte (the electrolyte surrounding the anode). An electrical current is then produced from the formation of copper ammonia complex, and can later be converted from chemical energy to electrical energy. The method of which can produce a power density of about 60 watts per square meter over multiple cycles, which is six to 10 times higher than other liquid-based conversion systems.

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