Materials for Energy, Efficiency and Sustainability: TechConnect Briefs 2015Materials for Energy, Efficiency and Sustainability TechConnect Briefs 2015

Materials for Sustainability & Efficiency Chapter 9

Energy and Nanomaterials: Interfacial Synergy

R.L. Vander Wal
Penn State University, United States

pp. 305 - 306

Keywords: energy storage, conversion, efficiency, utlization

With energy at the forefront of the national economy and security energy-directed applications are of particular interest. Not surprisingly, energy and materials are intimately related. Many forms of energy utilization, conversion and storage and generation are dominated by interfacial chemistry. Therein nanomaterials as an interfacial modifier can play a critical role in these processes. Specific energy applications we have explored include the following: 1) Storage: Increased energy density in Li ion batteries and supercapacitors using carbon nanotubes 2) Efficiency: Reduced friction using nanolubricants between moving parts 3) Transfer: Improved thermal management using nanofluids in heat transfer applications 4) Conservation: Lightweight polymeric composites incorporating nanotubes, nanoclays and graphene oxide for vehicle composites 5) Control: Gas sensors based on nanoscale metal oxide semi-conductors for process control and monitoring 6) Generation: Catalysts and photocatalysts using nanostructured oxides for accelerated charge transfer and minimal recombination losses Highlights in each application will be presented.