Gigantic and Continuous Output Power in Ionic Thermo-Electrochemical Cells by Using Electrodes with Redox Couples

Wencong Zhang, Liyu Qiu, Yongjian Lian, Yongqiang Dai, Shi Yin, Chen Wu, Qianming Wang (Corresponding Author), Wei Zeng (Corresponding Author), Xiaoming Tao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The main obstacle of ionic thermo-electrochemical cells (TECs) in continuous power supply lies in a low heat-to-electricity energy conversion efficiency because most TECs work in thermodiffusion mode in which the ions are confined in a liquid/electrolyte media. The introduction of the redox couple onto the electrode surface may overcome the obstacle by resolving the low mass transport rate of ions caused by the redox process occurring near but not on the electrode surface. Herein, the authors demonstrate enhancement of TECs by integrating the redox couple directly onto the electrode surface to maximize the mass transport efficiency. A discontinuous interfacial modification strategy is developed by using a carbon cloth/iron (II/III) phytate as the symmetric electrodes. The gelled electrolyte consisting of a polyacrylamide matrix and phytic acid is shown to promote selective ion diffusion. A synergistic combination consisting of the thermodiffusion effect and redox reactions on the electrode is established in a pre-treated layout. Such TEC affords a high output voltage of 0.4 V, an excellent instantaneous output power density (20.26 mW m-2 K-2) and a record-high 2 h output energy density (2451 J m-2) under TH = 30 °C with TC = 15 °C, with an ultrahigh Carnot-relative efficiency of 1.12%.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2303407
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2023


  • carnot-relative efficiency
  • ionic thermo-electrochemical cells
  • output energy density
  • redox reactions on electrode
  • thermodiffusion effect in hydrogel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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