Looking Beyond The Horizon

Innovative Technologies & Services

Thermoelectric Organic Compund – Beyond just renewable energy

Posted by evolvingwheel on March 9, 2007

This one caught my attention for the properties of the organic molecule – create voltage when heated. The substance doesn’t conduct heat but rather electrons across itself. A very strong candidate for thermoelectricity.

Researchers at UC Berkeley successfully conducted experiments to prove that the molecule indeed generates voltage when exposed to heat. You may read more details about the substance and its properties from the link here. I am more interested in its commercial applications and business investments associated with it.

A lot of energy is lost in the form of heat when we derive power from coal, nuclear reactions, etc. These organic molecules can be stacked across heat exhaust devices generating electricity off the exhaust plume. How noble. However, the current challenge with them is the efficiency. That needs to be enhanced by altering the structure of the molecule. However, abundance and affordability make the research worthwhile. May be they could even try to dope this molecule with some other organic substrate and try to observe any change in efficiency.

This is a great consideration for investment analysis – over abundance, cheap versus low efficiency. Should you follow the track for more research or just try to commercialize a draft version and try to get the industry evolve it with changing applications, implementations, and adjustments around it? Another technical goal is to layer the organic molecules between metal sheets to make them thermoelectric. If this could be achieved in a cheap way commercially, the business prospects look promising.


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