Nanotube-Enhanced Bulk TE Nanocomposite for High-Efficiency Waste Heat Recovery for Electricity Generation

Period of Performance: 01/01/2009 - 12/31/2009


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

3300 A Westminster Avenue
Santa Ana, CA 92703
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

State University of New York Binghamtom
P.O. Box 6000
Binghamton, NY 13902
Institution POC


There is a pressing need to develop high-conversion-efficiency thermoelectric (TE) generators for cost-effective industrial waste heat recovery. The key to the development of such high-efficiency TE systems is the development of a TE material with a high ZT value. An opportunity exists to develop a novel, low-cost, bulk nanotube-enhanced nanocomposite to achieve this goal. This project will (1) develop a cost-effective scalable approach to the fabrication of large dimension (bulk) nanotubes (e.g., the Bi2Te3-enhanced nanocomposite, Bi2Te3-Sb2Te3) with high-ZT value, providing a material basis for the production of high power TE devices and systems; and (2) design, demonstrate, and characterize the TE generator module using the synthesized nanocomposite. Phase I will include both material characterization and TE prototyping, in order to identify the related technical issues that govern the fabrication and performance of this novel high-ZT bulk nanocomposite and the resultant TE modules. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: High-ZT TE materials should enable the production of high-power, high efficiency TE generators that can be used for industrial waste heat recovery, leading to an increase in energy efficiency and a simultaneous reduction in the unfavorable emissions. The technology also should find use in a variety of high-efficiency cooling applications, including space cooling in buildings and vehicles, and refrigeration for residential, commercial, and industrial applications