Special Focus: EU Green Deal - Using heat sources as fuel for the production of green electrical power


Gabriel Constantinescu conducts research in energy materials and green electricity. To him, all Europeans have a role to play in achieving the objectives of the EU Green Deal.

Gabriel Constantinescu,

in his own words

I am a materials scientist and engineer and I currently work as a researcher in the EU project ‘TEOsINTE. Thermoelectric oxide composites: design through controlled interactions’, won together with my supervisor, Andrei Kovalevsky.

I have a degree in Environmental Engineering (2009, Politehnica University of Bucharest, Romania), a Master of Science degree in Physics (2011, University of Bucharest, Romania), and a PhD degree in Physics (2014, University of Zaragoza, Spain).

At present I conduct research in state-ofthe-art energy materials (high-temperature, oxides-based thermoelectric materials for waste heat recovery applications). I have also worked on other materials for energy production, conversion, and storage (piezoelectrics, multiferroics, perovskite solar cells, high-temperature superconductors) and some biomaterials (superparamagnetic nanoparticles, functionalised dental implant surfaces).

I had the opportunity to work in various multidisciplinary R&D projects (on diverse functional materials) in different EU countries (Romania, Spain, Germany, Portugal).

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“All the materials researched in my MSCA project are made of cheap, abundant, and environmentally friendly constituents,” says Gabriel with enthusiasm, when talking about his MSCA project.

In the framework of his research, he takes some of the most promising thermoelectric ceramic oxides to date (Ca3Co4O9, ZnO, SrTiO3, CaMnO3) and tries to improve their high-temperature thermoelectric performance and chemical stability, by using a composite approach, especially tailored for each particular case.

The technology Gabriel is working on can use any residual heat source as fuel for the production of green electrical power. “Considering the large number and variety of industrial waste heat sources, the practical use of such a technology in almost any ‘circular economy’ scheme becomes obvious,” he adds.

“The EU Green Deal is very bold and very good”

Having followed the Green Deal’s initiatives, Gabriel considers the package of measures as a good signal. “The EU Green Deal is very bold and very good,” he says. “I think this novel, ‘one-of-a-kind’ initiative has to be much more carefully administered and in much more detail, if its goals are to be successfully reached,” he adds.

When mentioning the objectives of the Green Deal, which are no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050, economic growth decoupled from resource use, and no person and no place left behind, Gabriel thinks that the role of research is to show whether those proposed objectives are achievable. “I think the contribution of research to the implementation of the scheme is of paramount importance, since it provides the best means and methods to safely and effectively explore the proposed objectives,” he adds.

To him, it is important that all Europeans get involved in the achievements of the Green Deal’s objectives. “If most Europeans could see the benefits and advantages of adopting this new way of living and doing things, the Green Deal would naturally fall into place,” he concludes.

Aurélia Chaise
MCAA Editorial Team

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