The Research Institute for Ubiquitous Energy Devices (RIUED) of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), an independent administrative institution, has successfully developed a thermoelectric conversion module made of ceramic materials without performance degradation resulting from oxidation. While there have been thermoelectric modules (TEM) operable at higher temperatures, that newly developed is characterized by the absence of performance degradation even after operation at 800 °C in the air, and use of neither toxic substance nor precious rare elements. The new TEM is found much better than the existing ones in respect to economy and safety.
When the new TEM is used in waste incinerators, industrial furnaces and automobiles, electrical power may be recovered from untapped waste energy, which constitutes around 70 % of total consumed energy, In this way, the new TEM may be regarded as a promising means for alleviating energy saving and global warming issues. Furthermore, as the TEM has high power density, it can be applied as power source for emergency use or for mobile devices at disaster sites where only heat sources are available.