Scientists at the University of Manchester (where graphene was first synthesized in 2004) have published new research which indicates that graphene may enable the production of cleaner and more fuel-efficient cars. According to the researchers, heat generated by graphene can be converted into electricity. This could be applied throughout the automotive industry which is always seeking to improve performance and fuel efficiency. Tesla Motors could be an example of a company which may employs the use of graphene in its cars in the form of graphene batteries.
Heat that is generated by a car’s engine is usually wasted energy. New hybrid cars could instead utilize this heat to re-charge batteries and power auxiliary functions such as the air conditioning system. Graphene is perfect for this purpose as it is a thermoelectric material. This means that graphene can convert heat to electricity. Graphene exceeds in performance compared to conventional thermoelectric materials which can face challenges such as the ability to dissipate heat and electrical conduction efficiency.