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The worldwide energy crisis and environmental deterioration are probably humanity’s greatest challenges. Thermoelectricity, which allows for the mutual conversion between thermal and electrical energy, has become a promising technology to alleviate this challenge. Increasingly more research focuses on how to fabricate and apply thermoelectric materials for harvesting energy and regulating the indoor thermal environment. However, only a few studies have focused on cementitious materials with thermoelectric potential. Thermoelectric cement is a composite material in which particular additives can enhance the thermoelectric performance of ordinary cement. By potentially replacing traditional construction materials with thermoelectric cement in building applications, electricity could be generated from waste heat, reducing the use of fossil fuels, and supplementing other renewable energy sources like solar and wind. This article presents a review of fundamentals, fabrication, characterization, composition, and performance, as well as modeling methods and opportunities for thermoelectric cement composites. The literature reviewed covers the period from 1998 to 2020 related to thermoelectric cement. It also presents the challenges and problems to overcome for further development and provide future research directions of thermoelectric cement.
Xiaoli Liu, Ruchita Jani, Esther Orisakwe, Conrad Johnston, Piotr Chudzinski, Ming Qu, Brian Norton, Niall Holmes, Jorge Kohanoff, Lorenzo Stella, Hongxi Yin, Kazuaki Yazawa, State of the art in composition, fabrication, characterization, and modeling methods of cement-based thermoelectric materials for low-temperature applications, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 137, 2021, 110361, ISSN 1364-0321, DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2020.110361
This research is supported through a US-Ireland grant tri-funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF, 1805818), Science Foundation Ireland (SFI, 17/US/3424), and the Department for the Economy of Northern Ireland (DfE, USI 127).