Environmental life cycle assessment and techno-economic analysis of triboelectric nanogenerators

Handle URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10754/626698
Title:
Environmental life cycle assessment and techno-economic analysis of triboelectric nanogenerators
Authors:
Ahmed, Abdelsalam; Hassan, Islam; Ibn-Mohammed, Taofeeq; Mostafa, Hassan; Reaney, Ian M.; Koh, Lenny S. C.; Zu, Jean; Wang, Zhong Lin ( 0000-0002-5530-0380 )
Abstract:
As the world economy grows and industrialization of the developing countries increases, the demand for energy continues to rise. Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) have been touted as having great potential for low-carbon, non-fossil fuel energy generation. Mechanical energies from, amongst others, body motion, vibration, wind and waves are captured and converted by TENGs to harvest electricity, thereby minimizing global fossil fuel consumption. However, only by ascertaining performance efficiency along with low material and manufacturing costs as well as a favorable environmental profile in comparison with other energy harvesting technologies, can the true potential of TENGs be established. This paper presents a detailed techno-economic lifecycle assessment of two representative examples of TENG modules, one with a high performance efficiency (Module A) and the other with a lower efficiency (Module B) both fabricated using low-cost materials. The results are discussed across a number of sustainability metrics in the context of other energy harvesting technologies, notably photovoltaics. Module A possesses a better environmental profile, lower cost of production, lower CO2 emissions and shorter energy payback period (EPBP) compared to Module B. However, the environmental profile of Module B is slightly degraded due to the higher content of acrylic in its architecture and higher electrical energy consumption during fabrication. The end of life scenario of acrylic is environmentally viable given its recyclability and reuse potential and it does not generate toxic gases that are harmful to humans and the environment during combustion processes due to its stability during exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Despite the adoption of a less optimum laboratory manufacturing route, TENG modules generally have a better environmental profile than commercialized Si based and organic solar cells, but Module B has a slightly higher energy payback period than PV technology based on perovskite-structured methyl ammonium lead iodide. Overall, we recommend that future research into TENGs should focus on improving system performance, material optimization and more importantly improving their lifespan to realize their full potential.
Citation:
Ahmed A, Hassan I, Ibn-Mohammed T, Mostafa H, Reaney IM, et al. (2017) Environmental life cycle assessment and techno-economic analysis of triboelectric nanogenerators. Energy & Environmental Science 10: 653–671. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c7ee00158d.
Publisher:
Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
Journal:
Energy Environ. Sci.
Issue Date:
22-Feb-2017
DOI:
10.1039/c7ee00158d
Type:
Article
ISSN:
1754-5692; 1754-5706
Sponsors:
This research was supported by KAUST and the Hightower Chair foundation. The support provided for completing this research is gratefully acknowledged. In addition, a helpful discussion with Professor Heather MacLean is gratefully acknowledged.
Appears in Collections:
Publications Acknowledging KAUST Support

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorAhmed, Abdelsalamen
dc.contributor.authorHassan, Islamen
dc.contributor.authorIbn-Mohammed, Taofeeqen
dc.contributor.authorMostafa, Hassanen
dc.contributor.authorReaney, Ian M.en
dc.contributor.authorKoh, Lenny S. C.en
dc.contributor.authorZu, Jeanen
dc.contributor.authorWang, Zhong Linen
dc.date.accessioned2018-01-04T07:51:40Z-
dc.date.available2018-01-04T07:51:40Z-
dc.date.issued2017-02-22en
dc.identifier.citationAhmed A, Hassan I, Ibn-Mohammed T, Mostafa H, Reaney IM, et al. (2017) Environmental life cycle assessment and techno-economic analysis of triboelectric nanogenerators. Energy & Environmental Science 10: 653–671. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c7ee00158d.en
dc.identifier.issn1754-5692en
dc.identifier.issn1754-5706en
dc.identifier.doi10.1039/c7ee00158den
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/626698-
dc.description.abstractAs the world economy grows and industrialization of the developing countries increases, the demand for energy continues to rise. Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) have been touted as having great potential for low-carbon, non-fossil fuel energy generation. Mechanical energies from, amongst others, body motion, vibration, wind and waves are captured and converted by TENGs to harvest electricity, thereby minimizing global fossil fuel consumption. However, only by ascertaining performance efficiency along with low material and manufacturing costs as well as a favorable environmental profile in comparison with other energy harvesting technologies, can the true potential of TENGs be established. This paper presents a detailed techno-economic lifecycle assessment of two representative examples of TENG modules, one with a high performance efficiency (Module A) and the other with a lower efficiency (Module B) both fabricated using low-cost materials. The results are discussed across a number of sustainability metrics in the context of other energy harvesting technologies, notably photovoltaics. Module A possesses a better environmental profile, lower cost of production, lower CO2 emissions and shorter energy payback period (EPBP) compared to Module B. However, the environmental profile of Module B is slightly degraded due to the higher content of acrylic in its architecture and higher electrical energy consumption during fabrication. The end of life scenario of acrylic is environmentally viable given its recyclability and reuse potential and it does not generate toxic gases that are harmful to humans and the environment during combustion processes due to its stability during exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Despite the adoption of a less optimum laboratory manufacturing route, TENG modules generally have a better environmental profile than commercialized Si based and organic solar cells, but Module B has a slightly higher energy payback period than PV technology based on perovskite-structured methyl ammonium lead iodide. Overall, we recommend that future research into TENGs should focus on improving system performance, material optimization and more importantly improving their lifespan to realize their full potential.en
dc.description.sponsorshipThis research was supported by KAUST and the Hightower Chair foundation. The support provided for completing this research is gratefully acknowledged. In addition, a helpful discussion with Professor Heather MacLean is gratefully acknowledged.en
dc.publisherRoyal Society of Chemistry (RSC)en
dc.titleEnvironmental life cycle assessment and techno-economic analysis of triboelectric nanogeneratorsen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.journalEnergy Environ. Sci.en
dc.contributor.institutionNanoGenerators & NanoEngineering Laboratory, School of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canadaen
dc.contributor.institutionSchool of Materials Science & Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USAen
dc.contributor.institutionDesign & Production Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypten
dc.contributor.institutionAdvanced Resource Efficiency Centre, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UKen
dc.contributor.institutionCentre for Energy, Environment & Sustainability, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UKen
dc.contributor.institutionCenter of Nanoelectronics and Devices (CND) at Zewail City and AUC, Egypten
dc.contributor.institutionDepartment of Electronics and Communications, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Giza, Egypten
dc.contributor.institutionDepartments of Materials Science & Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UKen
dc.contributor.institutionBeijing Institute of Nanoenergy & Nanosystems, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, Chinaen
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