Recently, many devices have appeared that use the thermoelectric effect to generate electricity. Its essence is to convert the temperature difference into electrical voltage. One of the main problems of these devices remains the use of elements harmful to humans - cadmium, tellurium and mercury.
Scientists from the University of Utah have created a thermoelectric material that is free of toxic chemical compounds. It uses a combination of calcium, cobalt and terbium that is completely safe for humans.
The new material will find application in a wide variety of areas. Medical implants will be able to be powered by jewelry, which generates electricity from the difference between body temperature and ambient air.
Cars and planes will be able to exploit the difference between the warmth inside the cabin and the outside cold. And even kitchen pots and pans made from the new material can recharge mobile phones. Thermal power plants have enormous potential, wasting up to 60% of their energy.
The team has already received the first applications for the material from automakers and biosensor manufacturers.