Jesse Hinricher

Jesse  Hinricher
MIT ChemE | Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisor: Fikile Brushett
Department: Chemical Engineering
Areas of Research: Energy
Years: 2018-2019
Research Project Title:

Thermogalvanic Flow Cell for Waste Heat Recovery

abstract:The U.S. consumed 97.7 quadrillion BTUs of energy in 2017, of which 68% was rejected as waste heat. Conventional thermoelectric generators use solid-state inorganic components which have coupled ion and thermal conductivities ultimately limiting device performance. My project seeks to develop an alternative thermogalvanic generator based on electroactive organic molecules and redox flow battery (RFB) architectures. This approach offers the opportunity to decouple ion and thermal conductivity while maintaining durability, safety, and scalability. To this end, my research efforts will include prototyping a thermogalvanic flow cell with redox-active organic molecules, modeling the system using a techno-economic analysis, and optimizing the system to reduce cost.

My research in the Brushett group has exposed me to a wide array of electrochemistry and energy storage technologies. This SuperUROP project will allow me to more thoroughly develop my research skills. I’m excited to create new technology and contribute to improving energy efficiency. In doing so, I will learn about materials development, energy economics, and system modeling.