Hydrogels Containing the Ferri/Ferrocyanide Redox Couple and Ionic Liquids for Thermocells
Thermoelectrochemical cells are a promising new technology for harvesting low-grade waste heat. The operation of these cells relies on a redox couple within an electrolyte, which is most commonly water-based, and improvement of these materials is a key aspect of the advancement of this technology. Here, we report the gelation of aqueous electrolytes containing the K3Fe(CN)6/K4Fe(CN)6 redox couple using a range of different polymers, including polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (Cmc), polyacrylamide (PAAm), and two commercial polyurethane-based polymers: HydroMed D640 and HydroSlip C. These polymers produce quasi-solid-state electrolytes with sufficient mechanical properties to prevent leakage, and allow improved device flexibility and safety. Furthermore, the incorporation of various ionic liquids within the optimized hydrogel network is investigated as a route to enhance the electrochemical and mechanical properties and thermal energy harvesting performance of the hydrogels.