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“As much as 69% of waste thermal energy can be converted to electric energy” Professor Young Seok Song develops clean energy production technology
Writer 국제교류팀 방민혁
Date 2022.02.16
View Count 308
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The research team led by professor Young Seok Song (Fiber Convergence Material Engineering major at the School of Polymer Science and Engineering) developed a technology that effectively converts thermal energy released during the change in state of matter to electric energy. The study was published online in the December volume of Applied Energy, the global academic journal for research in the field of energy engineering.

The technology developed uses phase change material (PCM) that absorbs or releases heat in the process where material changes into solid or liquid form and the phenomenon where electrical charges are separated along with change in temperature (pyroelectric effect) to produce ecofriendly electric energy. Building on the fact that there is significant energy loss with existing technology that leverages PCM to produce electricity, the research team used porous material – in this case, graphene aerogel - and succeeded in effectively controlling unstable thermal energy, improving efficiency in the conversion to electric energy to levels as high as 69%.

“[We] set forth a new model that can be used in the field for producing clean energy with waste thermal energy,” explained professor Song who also spoke of “plans to focus on studying material systems with energy density high enough for commercialization by absorbing solar energy and waste heat.” The study was sponsored by the National Research Foundation of Korea and the Gyeonggi-do Regional Research Center (GRRC) with participation from Dr. Cheng-bin Yu and Professor Jae-ryoun Yoon of Seoul National University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering.