Temperature dependence of the electrode potential of a cobalt-based redox couple in ionic liquid electrolytes for thermal energy harvesting
Increasing the application of technologies for harvesting waste heat could make a significant contribution to sustainable energy production. Thermoelectrochemical cells are one such emerging technology, where the thermal response of a redox couple in an electrolyte is used to generate a potential difference across a cell when a temperature gradient exists. The unique physical properties of ionic liquids make them ideal for application as electrolytes in these devices. One of the keys to utilizing these media in efficient thermoelectrochemical cells is achieving high Seebeck coefficients, Se: the thermodynamic quantity that determines the magnitude of the voltage achieved per unit temperature difference. Here, we report the Se and cell performance of a cobalt-based redox couple in a range of different ionic liquids, to investigate the influence of the nature of the IL on the thermodynamics and cell performance of the redox system. The results reported include the highest Se to-date for an IL-based electrolyte. The effect of diluting the different ILs with propylene carbonate is also reported, which results in a significant increase in the output powers and current densities of the device.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Liquid Salts for Energy and Materials