The significance of supporting electrolyte on poly (vinyl alcohol)–iron(II)/iron(III) solid-state electrolytes for wearable thermo-electrochemical cells

Yuetong Zhou, Yuqing Liu, Mark A. Buckingham, Shuai Zhang, Leigh Aldous, Stephen Beirne, Gordon Wallace, Jun Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Thermo-electrochemical cells (known as thermocells) can convert heat energy into electrical power through redox reactions driven by the presence of a temperature gradient. Low-grade heat from the human body can be harvested using thermocells containing a suitable electrolyte, such as the iron(II)/iron(III) chloride redox couple housed in poly (vinyl alcohol) described here. However, conventionally the thermo-electrochemical performance of gelled electrolytes is poor, due to slow ionic transport and high charge transfer resistance. In this report, hydrochloric acid has been found to synergistically decrease the charge transfer resistance of the redox reaction, whilst doubling the tensile properties of the gel housing. Moreover, individual thermocells can be connected in parallel to enhance current output.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106938
JournalELECTROCHEMISTRY COMMUNICATIONS
Volume124
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Low-grade thermal energy
  • Solid-state electrolyte
  • Supporting electrolyte
  • Thermo-electrochemistry

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