UofM Researchers Discover New Source for “Green” Electricity

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (06/21/2011) —University of Minnesota engineering researchers in the College of Science and Engineering have recently discovered a new alloy material that converts heat directly into electricity. This revolutionary energy conversion method is in the early stages of development, but it could have wide-sweeping impact on creating environmentally friendly electricity from waste heat sources.

Researchers say the material could potentially be used to capture waste heat from a car’s exhaust that would heat the material and produce electricity for charging the battery in a hybrid car.

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During a small-scale demonstration in the lab, University of Minnesota researchers showed how their new material can spontaneously produce electricity when the temperature is raised a small amount. Pictured (from left) are aerospace engineering and mechanics professor Richard James, Ph.D. student Yintao Song and post-doctoral researchers Kanwal Bhatti and Vijay Srivastava.

During a small-scale demonstration in the lab, University of Minnesota researchers showed how their new material can spontaneously produce electricity when the temperature is raised a small amount. Pictured (from left) are aerospace engineering and mechanics professor Richard James, Ph.D. student Yintao Song and post-doctoral researchers Kanwal Bhatti and Vijay Srivastava.