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Improved thermoelectric materials for waste heat recovery using Graphene


The GRAPHTED project will develop improved thermoelectric (TE) materials intended for waste heat recovery devices for automotive exhaust gas and other high temperature energy harvesting applications, significantly improving the efficiency and achieving cost-effective means to recover energy that would otherwise be lost. The current climate for improved energy efficiency is driving the automotive market to seek ways of capturing waste energy from car exhausts. This will improve fuel consumption and reduce pollution while also reducing the levels of carbon dioxide emitted.


Research at the University of Manchester has led to a number of innovative patent-protected graphene containing materials with significantly improved thermoelectric properties over a wide range of temperatures. The project will utilise this research to apply the thermoelectric material research to a manufactured product.

Current materials for thermoelectric (TE) generators are typically based on compounds that are scarce, expensive and environmentally unsound. Other TE materials exist which do not suffer from these drawbacks but they have not yet achieved technical and commercial viability when assembled into thermoelectric modules. The GRAPHTED project will explore novel materials incorporating graphene. This offers the potential to combine the unique properties of graphene with the advantages of thermoelectric materials such as the oxides, which have a high stability and scalability.

Thermoelectric materials are often characterised by their figure of merit, ZT, with peak ZT often reported. However, for good module performance in any real application, it is the average ZT across the operating temperature range that is more important. This project will therefore focus on materials with improved average ZT, and incorporation of the materials into prototype modules.

Project end date

March 2016




Please check back for the results soon!

More information

For more information on Graphene, see the University of Manchester’s website