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Stacked double-walled carbon nanotube sheet electrodes for electrochemically harvesting thermal energy
- Lee, Ju Hwan, Jung, Yeonsu, Kim, Ju Hyeon, Yang, Seung Jae, Kang, Tae June
- Carbon 2019 v.147 pp. 559-565
- carbon, carbon nanotubes, electrochemistry, electrodes, temperature, thermal energy, wastes
- Nanocarbon based electrodes have led to remarkable improvements in the performance of thermoelectrochemical cells (TECs), which are able to electrochemically harvest low-grade waste thermal energy. However, the highly tortuous ionic pathways of the electrodes limit the output current from the TECs by reducing the reaction rate inhibited by a concentration gradient in the electrode. In this work, we investigate an electrode structure that facilitates efficient ion transport by sequentially stacking highly aligned double-walled carbon nanotube (DWCNT) sheets. The performance of the TEC is evaluated with respect to the number of DWCNT stacks and the lamination orientation in a parallel or orthogonal direction. As the number of stacks increases from 1 to 3 layers oriented in parallel, the output power increases from 113 to 187 mW/m2 at a small temperature difference of 22 °C. The output power with 3-layer DWCNT sheets can be further improved to 200 mW/m2 by implementing an orthogonal lamination. The significance of electrode tortuosity presented here would be useful in electrode design as a way to improve energy harvesting performance. The results should also provide a basis for devising electrochemical devices with highly porous nanocarbon electrodes.