Engineered Nanomaterials for Energy Conversion Cells


Engineered Nanomaterials for Energy Conversion Cells

Mohammad Harun-Ur-Rashid, Abu Bin Imran

Day by day, the energy demand is exceeding due to consumption by increasing world population and fast-growing industrialization. As a result, the biggest problems of the 21st century are energy demand and how it affects the environment. The disquiet is caused by the excessive reliance on fossil fuels as raw materials for the production of energy, such as coal, oil, and natural gas. Around 13 terawatts of energy are needed every day by more than 6.5 billion people around the world. However, the scarcity of currently used fossil fuels and the environmental deterioration corresponding to fuel rectification processes have triggered the compulsion to produce renewable, non-polluting, and eco-friendly energy generation and conversion technologies. Suitable technologies for the conversion and storage of energy will play a vital role in addressing the current challenges associated with the increasing demand for clean, renewable, sustainable, transferable, benign, eco-friendly, nominal, and ceaseless power supplies for users. The substitution of fossil fuels could be clean energies, for example, solar, hydroelectric, wind, geothermal, biogas, and tidal energies. Generally, alternative renewable energy conversion requires various complicated physical and chemical processes on the surface and interfaces of cell components and transporting electrons, positive holes, ions, and molecules through the entire system. The harnessing of energy requires new and novel nanomaterials and evolution of nanocomposite and multifunctional nanostructured materials, including metal, ceramic, polymer matrix, and amalgamation. Various essential advantages of using engineered nanomaterials, such as high surface area, unique physicochemical properties, mechanical strength, and favorable transport properties, are crucial to energy harnessing applications. Electrocatalysis-based energy conversion devices are widely studied to get high yield and optimum performance of energy conversion services. The structural engineering of nanomaterials is associated with the fabrication of size, spatial array, hetero architecture, and shape of nanostructures, thereby producing a well-defined novel nanomaterial, which could be used for high-performance energy conversion system applications. The development and the innovations introduced in nanotechnology and material chemistry are making key breakthroughs for amplifying these devices’ performance for perceiving the objective of renewable and sustainable clean energy technologies. The engineered nanomaterials such as nanoparticles, nanorods, nanospheres, nanosheets, nanotubes, and nanowires have drawn the attention of many nanotechnologists because of their attractive physical and chemical properties attributed to their significantly smaller size. The applications of zero (0-), one (1-), two (2-), and three (3-) dimensional nanostructures in the construction of high performance and cost-effective systems for harnessing energy by using renewable and sustainable technologies have been reported in many works of literature. This chapter will focus on the basic characteristics and idea of engineered nanomaterials for energy conversion cells with well-built prominence on the connection between structural features and resultant performances. In addition to emphasizing the applications of various nanomaterials in energy conversion cells, the apparent advantages, disadvantages, limitations, and challenges will be addressed. Finally, the outlook regarding the prospective futures of engineered nanomaterials for energy conversion will be discussed.

Nanomaterials, Energy Conversion, Solar Cell, Nanotechnology, Supercapacitor, Aerogel, Graphene Quantum Dots, Polymeric Nanoparticles, Fuel Cell, Rechargeable Batteries

Published online , 24 pages

Citation: Mohammad Harun-Ur-Rashid, Abu Bin Imran, Engineered Nanomaterials for Energy Conversion Cells, Materials Research Foundations, Vol. 148, pp 103-126, 2023


Part of the book on Applications of Emerging Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology

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