Effective Technologies That Convert Waste to Usable Energy

April 23, 2012 — 1,439 views  
Become a Bronze Member for monthly eNewsletter, articles, and white papers.

Societies are tasked with the responsibility of reversing some of the harm they've done to the planet. The added focus on converting waste energy into a usable resource has persuaded many scientists to spend time inventing new technologies. Their work has helped develop efficient ways people can convert waste to energy.

Materials scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have designed a way to harvest small amounts of waste energy and harness them to turn water into usable hydrogen fuel. The technology provides a cost-effective way to direct water splitting that may create hydrogen fuels by scavenging energy waste such as noise or stray vibrations from the surrounding environment. The inventors have achieved an impressive 18 percent efficiency rate with the technology, which is much higher than most experimental energy sources.

Alphabet Energy offers another revolutionary waste energy method called all-silicon thermoelectric technology. The inventors created a semiconductor capable of converting heat into electricity at a cost equivalent to one twentieth of other available methods. Several power plants in the United States already utilize this technology to improve energy efficiency.

Discovering ways to salvage waste energy can be influential in preventing future damage and resource depletion down the line. Scientists who continue to experiment with new technologies may be able to change the world and create a better standard of living for everyone.