A thermally regenerative ammonia-based battery for efficient harvesting of low-grade thermal energy as electrical power

Handle URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10754/597425
Title:
A thermally regenerative ammonia-based battery for efficient harvesting of low-grade thermal energy as electrical power
Authors:
Zhang, Fang; Liu, Jia; Yang, Wulin; Logan, Bruce E.
Abstract:
© 2015 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Thermal energy was shown to be efficiently converted into electrical power in a thermally regenerative ammonia-based battery (TRAB) using copper-based redox couples [Cu(NH3)4 2+/Cu and Cu(ii)/Cu]. Ammonia addition to the anolyte (2 M ammonia in a copper-nitrate electrolyte) of a single TRAB cell produced a maximum power density of 115 ± 1 W m-2 (based on projected area of a single copper mesh electrode), with an energy density of 453 W h m-3 (normalized to the total electrolyte volume, under maximum power production conditions). Adding a second cell doubled both the voltage and maximum power. Increasing the anolyte ammonia concentration to 3 M further improved the maximum power density to 136 ± 3 W m-2. Volatilization of ammonia from the spent anolyte by heating (simulating distillation), and re-addition of this ammonia to the spent catholyte chamber with subsequent operation of this chamber as the anode (to regenerate copper on the other electrode), produced a maximum power density of 60 ± 3 W m-2, with an average discharge energy efficiency of ∼29% (electrical energy captured versus chemical energy in the starting solutions). Power was restored to 126 ± 5 W m-2 through acid addition to the regenerated catholyte to decrease pH and dissolve Cu(OH)2 precipitates, suggesting that an inexpensive acid or a waste acid could be used to improve performance. These results demonstrated that TRABs using ammonia-based electrolytes and inexpensive copper electrodes can provide a practical method for efficient conversion of low-grade thermal energy into electricity.
Citation:
Zhang F, Liu J, Yang W, Logan BE (2015) A thermally regenerative ammonia-based battery for efficient harvesting of low-grade thermal energy as electrical power. Energy Environ Sci 8: 343–349. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c4ee02824d.
Publisher:
Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
Journal:
Energy Environ. Sci.
KAUST Grant Number:
KUS-I1-003-13
Issue Date:
2015
DOI:
10.1039/c4ee02824d
Type:
Article
ISSN:
1754-5692; 1754-5706
Sponsors:
The authors thank David Jones for help with the analytical measurements. We also thank Nicole LaBarge for the HYSYS simulation, Dr Marta Hatzell, Dr Mike Hickner and Dr Christopher Gorski for useful discussions. This research was supported by Award KUS-I1-003-13 from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).
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Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorZhang, Fangen
dc.contributor.authorLiu, Jiaen
dc.contributor.authorYang, Wulinen
dc.contributor.authorLogan, Bruce E.en
dc.date.accessioned2016-02-25T12:32:59Zen
dc.date.available2016-02-25T12:32:59Zen
dc.date.issued2015en
dc.identifier.citationZhang F, Liu J, Yang W, Logan BE (2015) A thermally regenerative ammonia-based battery for efficient harvesting of low-grade thermal energy as electrical power. Energy Environ Sci 8: 343–349. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c4ee02824d.en
dc.identifier.issn1754-5692en
dc.identifier.issn1754-5706en
dc.identifier.doi10.1039/c4ee02824den
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/597425en
dc.description.abstract© 2015 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Thermal energy was shown to be efficiently converted into electrical power in a thermally regenerative ammonia-based battery (TRAB) using copper-based redox couples [Cu(NH3)4 2+/Cu and Cu(ii)/Cu]. Ammonia addition to the anolyte (2 M ammonia in a copper-nitrate electrolyte) of a single TRAB cell produced a maximum power density of 115 ± 1 W m-2 (based on projected area of a single copper mesh electrode), with an energy density of 453 W h m-3 (normalized to the total electrolyte volume, under maximum power production conditions). Adding a second cell doubled both the voltage and maximum power. Increasing the anolyte ammonia concentration to 3 M further improved the maximum power density to 136 ± 3 W m-2. Volatilization of ammonia from the spent anolyte by heating (simulating distillation), and re-addition of this ammonia to the spent catholyte chamber with subsequent operation of this chamber as the anode (to regenerate copper on the other electrode), produced a maximum power density of 60 ± 3 W m-2, with an average discharge energy efficiency of ∼29% (electrical energy captured versus chemical energy in the starting solutions). Power was restored to 126 ± 5 W m-2 through acid addition to the regenerated catholyte to decrease pH and dissolve Cu(OH)2 precipitates, suggesting that an inexpensive acid or a waste acid could be used to improve performance. These results demonstrated that TRABs using ammonia-based electrolytes and inexpensive copper electrodes can provide a practical method for efficient conversion of low-grade thermal energy into electricity.en
dc.description.sponsorshipThe authors thank David Jones for help with the analytical measurements. We also thank Nicole LaBarge for the HYSYS simulation, Dr Marta Hatzell, Dr Mike Hickner and Dr Christopher Gorski for useful discussions. This research was supported by Award KUS-I1-003-13 from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).en
dc.publisherRoyal Society of Chemistry (RSC)en
dc.titleA thermally regenerative ammonia-based battery for efficient harvesting of low-grade thermal energy as electrical poweren
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.journalEnergy Environ. Sci.en
dc.contributor.institutionPennsylvania State University, State College, United Statesen
kaust.grant.numberKUS-I1-003-13en
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