TRANSLATE is developing
a new nanofluidic
platform technology

to effectively convert waste
heat to electricity

Waste heat energy discharged into the atmosphere is one of the largest sources of clean, fuel-free and inexpensive energies available.

Generating Electricity from Waste Heat
Credit: Helga Jordan, TU Darmstadt

Although technologies for converting waste heat into electrical energy have been around for a long time, there is still no environmentally sustainable and efficient technology platform available for the harvesting of low-grade waste heat.

EU-funded Horizon 2020 research project TRANSLATE aims to develop a new nanofluidic platform technology, based on the flux of ions in nanochannels, to effectively convert this waste heat to electricity.

Accessing this largely untapped energy source could help tackle some of the biggest economic and social challenges we face today including climate change and the depletion of natural resources.

To successfully deliver a novel energy harvesting technology, TRANSLATE will synergistically combine several nano-physical and electrochemical principles. There are a number of steps involved in the process which include:

  • Building and utilising a simulation model for nanochannel
  • Nanochannel fabrication and thermovoltage generation
  • Development and optimisation of nanofluidic energy harvesting storage cell


The outcomes from TRANSLATE will be actively disseminated and communicated over the course of this 4-year research project.

Modelling and Simulation
Fabrication and Exploration
Development and Optimisation
Dissemination and Communication

The technology that is to be developed in TRANSLATE will improve the energy efficiency of many devices and systems, such as combustion engines, industrial manufacturing and conversion processes, by recovering large amounts of waste heat from these systems and converting it to useable electricity. As such, the TRANSLATE platform will provide a radically new zero-emission power source that is powered with renewable energy.