Triboelectric Characterization of Colloidal TiO 2 for Energy Harvesting Applications

Nanomaterials (Basel). 2020 Jun 17;10(6):1181. doi: 10.3390/nano10061181.


Nowadays, energy-related issues are of paramount importance. Every energy transformation process results in the production of waste heat that can be harvested and reused, representing an ecological and economic opportunity. Waste heat to power (WHP) is the process of converting the waste heat into electricity. A novel approach is proposed based on the employment of liquid nano colloids. In this work, the triboelectric characterization of TiO2 nanoparticles dispersed in pure water and flowing in a fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) pipe was conducted. The idea is to exploit the waste heat to generate the motion of colloidal TiO2 through a FEP pipe. By placing an Al ring electrode in contact with the pipe, it was possible to accumulate electrostatic charges due to the triboelectric effect between the fluid and the inner pipe walls. A peristaltic pump was used to drive and control the flow in order to evaluate the performances in a broad fluid dynamic spectrum. The system generated as output relatively high voltages and low currents, resulting in extracted power ranging between 0.4 and 0.6 nW. By comparing the power of pressure loss due to friction with the extracted power, the electro-kinetic efficiency was estimated to be 20%.

Keywords: TENGs; colloid; energy harvesting; liquid energy harvester; triboelectric effect; waste heat to power.