MIT SoE — Lord Foundation Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Continual 1-Dimensional Thermopower Wave Fuel Cell
Continual 1-dimensional thermopower wave fuel cells are in the early stages of development. These devices will have the potential to become a widely used energy source because of their high-density energy production in the form of electricity. Several studies have explored the combustion of solid fuels embedded in carbon nanotubes, such as nitrocellulose and sodium azide. However, until now, no one has produced thermopower waves in a semi-batch operating system. This project involves building a small device that intakes methanol vapor as fuel in order to generate electrical energy from chemical energy. These developments could lead to smaller, cheaper portable energy sources.
I worked in Professor Strano’s lab in Spring 2015, developing prototypes of thermopower devices. I also had the opportunity to intern at Procter & Gamble and ExxonMobil during my summers. Through these experiences, I gained an understanding of both the consumer products industry and the energy industry. I hope to apply my knowledge of product design, process optimization and energy harvesting to my SuperUROP project.