Over Materials for efficient energy conversion

Materials for efficient energy conversion

Avondlezing door prof.dr. Ekkes Brück georganiseerd door de Chemische Kring Midden Nederland. 

An energy-efficient refrigeration cycle can be achieved with magnetic materials that show a large magnetocaloric effect. These materials heat up when a magnetic field is applied. After this heat is transferred to the environment, they cool down on removing the magnetic field and can take up heat from the substance that needs to be cooled. The processes as described are highly reversible and therefore very energy-efficient. Additionally, these magnetic materials are solids that can easily be recycled and do not contribute to the atmospheric greenhouse effect. Thus, this solid-state technology has the potential to strongly reduce the environmental impact of cooling technology. Similar materials may be employed for generating electricity from waste heat.

 A key requirement for large scale applications is the use of abundant materials and an enhanced magnetocaloric response in rather low magnetic fields that may be generated by cheap permanent magnets. We discuss promising materials and how to come from lab-scale production to industry scale production.

Curiculum vitae:
Full professor at the Faculty of Applied Sciences at Delft University of Technology and head of the section Fundamental Aspects of Materials and Energy. Employing microscopic and macroscopic techniques, my main research interest is in materials for renewable energy and energy saving (MCE, Li-ion batteries, H storage, solar cells, self-healing materials, catalysts). In this work in-situ, neutron scattering, X-ray diffraction, positron annihilation and Mössbauer spectroscopy play an important role. The experimental results are combined with first principle calculations and molecular dynamics simulations, to gain a better understanding of the physical and chemical processes that are relevant for optimal performance of devices.
My major scientific effort and scholarly contribution of the past 15 years is to establish magnetocaloric material as a new, sustainability-oriented discipline. I am recognized as leading expert in this field.

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