Electro-Intrusion - Simultaneous transformation of ambient heat and undesired vibrations into electricity via nanotriboelectrification during non-wetting liquid intrusion-extrusion into-from nanopores

Greenhouse gas emissions, pollution and rational energy use are civilization-scale challenges which need to be resolved urgently, in particular by the conversion of abundant waste heat and undesired vibrations into useful electricity. However, the low efficiency of existing conversion methods does not provide an attractive solution. Here we propose a new and highly efficient method and apparatuses for the simultaneous transformation of mechanical and thermal energies into electricity by using zero-emission nanotriboelectrification during non-wetting liquid intrusion-extrusion into-from nanoporous solids. To tackle these phenomena, we bring together a consortium of multidisciplinary teams specializing in physics, chemistry, material science and engineering to address the project by the state-of-the-art methods of MD simulations, high-pressure calorimetry and dielectric spectroscopy, materials synthesis and characterization, and prototype development. The FETPROACTIVE call is a key solution to bring this early stage multidisciplinary concept to higher TRLs, fill in the large knowledge gaps in the solid-liquid contact electrification and heat generation during intrusion-extrusion as well as enable its full impact on EU innovation leadership, competitive market and energy sector security. The proposed method can be used for energy scavenging within a wide range of technologies, where vibrations and heat are available in excess (train, aviation, domestic devices, drilling, etc.). In particular, using European Environment Agency data we estimate that the use of the proposed approach only within the automobile sector can reduce the overall EU electricity consumption by 1-4% in 2050.
With this regard, the final stage of the project implies regenerative shock-absorber development and field-testing for a drastic maximization of the maximum range of hybrid / electric vehicles.

Project details

Scientific responsability: Simone Meloni

Funding source: HORIZON 2020

Call: H2020-FETPROACT-2020-2

Start date: 01/01/2021 - end date: 31/12/2024

EU contribution: 3.651.381,25 €

EU contribution to UniFe: 558.000,00 €


  • Centro de Investigacion Cooperativa de Energias Alternativas Fundacion, Cic Energigune Fundazioa, Spain
  • Università degli Studi di Ferrara, Italy
  • National Technical University of Ukraine Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, Ukraine
  • Uniwersytet Slaski, Poland
  • The University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • Tenneco Automotive Europe Bvba, Belgium