This project explores a novel technology to use thermoelectric material to transform a temperature gradient into an electrical voltage, which can increase the catalytic activity by several hundreds of times.

This consortium combines the original technology inventor in Cranfield University, with a pre-pilot reactor developer (HEL Ltd) and a sustainable and renewable process design/assessment specialist (Exergy Ltd) to explore a novel and emerging technology, called thermoelectric promotion of catalysis (TEPOC).

In essence, TEPOC uses thermoelectric materials to transform a temperature gradient into a Seebeck voltage, which increases the electrochemical energy of the electrons in the catalyst particles. This improves the catalytic activity by several tens to several thousands of times. 

The use of the thermoelectric effect to boost catalyst performance has potentially wide ranging benefits for the chemical industry in terms of both efficiency savings and enabling the use of chemical syntheses which have not previously been viable.  

Journal paper publication

Nature Energy highlight