Waste Heat Energy Recovery System

Engine system capable of recovering wasted heat energy from combustion engines or similar heat sources and converting it to mechanical or electrical energy

The Need

Internal combustion engines are the primary means of propulsion in automobiles, boats, aircraft, motorcycles, and many more vehicles. When an internal combustion engine is utilized to power some vehicle or machinery, lost thermal energy and gases are emitted as exhaust. In current use of combustion engines, thermal byproducts are merely undesirable emissions. Waste heat recovery systems aim to harness this wasted energy. However, current systems are limited in application due to intensive capital and maintenance costs that outweigh implementation benefits. Additionally, bulky and complicated design specifications make integrating current systems highly difficult. If this heat waste could be harnessed in a cost effective and simplistic manner, it could be utilized as a derivative energy source, vastly improving the efficiency of combustion engines.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. Codrin-Gruie Cantemir, developed a waste heat energy recovery system. This innovative engine can recover the thermal energy emitted by any heat source and convert said heat into mechanical or electrical energy. Featuring a simplistic versatile design, this engine can be applied to a variety of combustion engines and industrial processes, adaptable enough so to fit a currently existing device or be incorporated into the final product from the design phase.

Commercial Applications

  • Automotive
  • Power generation and recovery
  • Combustion Engines


  • Simplistic design
  • Increase efficiency of combustion engines
    • Converts thermal energy from a working fluid in practical mechanical work
    • By utilizing compression and expansion, it allows for a complete thermodynamic cycle, resulting added work
  • Versatile
    • Can be used with a variety of combustion engines and industrial process—any heat source can be used
    • Can be sold as a “bolt on device” or can be incorporated in the final product from the design phase

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