Several industries such as cement, steel, glass, and power expel an enormous amount of high-temperature waste heat. In fact, approx. Forty-five quads of energy are discarded as waste heat at high temperatures globally each year. Although this is a downside from the environmental perspective, the view can be changed if the waste heat could be converted into electricity in a feasible manner. In this manner, the heat causing harm to the world could instead become a zero-carbon source of energy. However, there hasn't been much development in this regard within the research world.
Now researchers might have successfully created a thermoelectric waste-heat recovery system with the capability to reduce electricity-induced carbon emissions. In addition, the new development is also quite cost-effective and feasible. The system primarily comprises of silicon nanowire that was developed by Berkeley Lab a long time ago. The use of this material is likely to boost the Silicon Nanowire Market as novel generators made by their use would help industries minimize their energy losses and thus are likely to become a hit in the market.
The newly developed technology makes use of wafer-scale arrays prepared by porous silicon nanowires along with ultra-thin silicon crystallite. The combination of both enables one to achieve 18 times better "figure of merit." The term is an expression used to represent either efficiency or performance). The team stated that the system is better in comparison to other high-temperature thermoelectric technologies.
It is generally known that high temperatures result in material degradation. Thus, the team looked towards silicon since it is not only abundant and cheap but also stable and reliable. The team, in the midst of their research, realized that bulk silicon would not exhibit positive thermoelectric properties, and so they used silicon to create nanowires. Thereafter they brought physical changes.
After the accomplishment of the present system that would provide immense benefits to different sectors worldwide by helping them become carbon emission-free, the team's next step would be to increase the sale of the system and produce nanowires to check their ability amongst actual devices.
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