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GM recycles exhaust into power

Researchers must be a lot like milk: if you leave them alone for long enough, all sorts of crazy stuff develops. Although in milk’s case, most of it would give you severe digestive wrongness, scientists’ work can often make you feel better about things.

According to those clever folk over at Associated Press, those clever folk over at GM are already working on new ways to recycle the heat from the evil that is car exhaust into something that can make your car run more efficiently.

The prototype works, powered by raw science, by taking all the heat wasted through the exhaust, recapturing it, turning it back into electricity and powering all your in-car gadgets, like your GPS or your in-car DVD player. (You don’t have an in-car DVD player? Greenbang neither. But she doesn’t have a car either.)

Here’s how it works, explained by AP:

The thermoelectric generator works when one side of its metallic material is heated, and excited electrons move to the cold side. The movement creates a current, which electrodes collect and convert to electricity.

According to a GM researcher by the name of Jihui Yang, the boffins have come up with a metal device for your exhaust pipe that can improve fuel efficiency by five percent.

Said Yang, who may not have been watching Anchorman recently:

The take-home message here is: It’s a big deal.”

The device will be tested out on a GM motor next year.

1 Comment

  • Peter
    Posted August 13, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Like most, I have a gas boiler (yes, I’ll be nice, Mr. Putin). And outside is its vent.

    Now, just I have never been able to figure out why all those pictures of oil rings and refineries had the stuff burning off without being used, I have often wondered why what seems (all due efficiencies inside) a lot of heat going out cannot be reused back in.

    Now, one plan I had was to deflect it to waft over the car windscreen so in winter it is ice free.

    Trouble is there a lot of vapour and well, it’s also poisonous.

    However, speaking of cars and exhausts, this option indeed looks interesting:

    ‘Aving a bath Mother? Old up, I’ll do a quick couple of blogs while you’re running it’.

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