WEB Waste Recycling in Thermoelectric MaterialsFriday (25.09.2020) 11:35 - 11:50 F: Functional Materials, Surfaces, and Devices 1 Part of:
Thermoelectric (TE) technology enables the efficient conversion of waste heat generated in homes, transport, and industry into promptly accessible electrical energy. Such technology is thus finding increasing applications given the focus on alternative sources of energy. However, the synthesis of TE materials relies on costly and scarce elements, which are also environmentally damaging to extract. Moreover, spent TE modules lead to a waste of resources and cause severe pollution. To address these issues, many laboratory studies have explored the synthesis of TE materials using wastes and the recovery of scarce elements from spent modules. For example, utilization of Si slurry as starting materials, development of biodegradable TE papers and bacterial recovery and recycling of Tellurium from spent TE modules. Yet, the outcomes of such work have not triggered sustainable industrial practices to the extent needed. This paper provides a systematic overview of the state-of-the-art with a view to uncovering the opportunities and challenges for expanded application. Based on this overview, it explores a framework for synthesizing TE materials from waste sources with efficiencies comparable to those made from raw materials.