Thermally Resistive Electrospun Composite Membranes for Low-Grade Thermal Energy Harvesting

Hasan, Syed Waqar and Said, Suhana Mohd and Sabri, Mohd Faizul Mohd and Jaffery, Hasan Abbas and Shuhaimi, Ahmad (2018) Thermally Resistive Electrospun Composite Membranes for Low-Grade Thermal Energy Harvesting. Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, 303 (3). p. 1700482. ISSN 1438-7492, DOI

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In this work, thermally insulating composite mats of poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) and polyacrylonitrile (PAN) blends are used as the separator membranes. The membranes improve the thermal-to-electrical energy conversion efficiency of a thermally driven electrochemical cell (i.e., thermocell) up to 95%. The justification of the improved performance is an intricate relationship between the porosity, electrolyte uptake, electrolyte uptake rate of the electrospun fibrous mat, and the actual temperature gradient at the electrode surface. When the porosity is too high (87%) in PAN membranes, the electrolyte uptake and electrolyte uptake rate are significantly high as 950% and 0.53 µL s−1, respectively. In such a case, the convective heat flow within the cell is high and the power density is limited to 32.7 mW m−2. When the porosity is lesser (up to 81%) in PVDF membranes, the electrolyte uptake and uptake rate are relatively low as 434% and 0.13 µL s−1, respectively. In this case, the convective flow shall be low, however, the maximum power density of 63.5 mW m−2 is obtained with PVDF/PAN composites as the aforementioned parameters are optimized. Furthermore, multilayered membrane structures are also investigated for which a bilayered architecture produces highest power density of 102.7 mW m−2.

Item Type: Article
Funders: Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) [FP064-2016a], University of Malaya Postgraduate Research Grant (PPP) [PG341-2016A]
Uncontrolled Keywords: electrochemical cells; nanofibers; polymer composites; thermoelectrics
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering
Faculty of Science > Department of Physics
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2019 08:49
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2019 08:49

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