The demand for more fuel efficient vehicles has been growing steadily and will only continue to increase given the volatility in the commodities market for petroleum resources. The internal combustion (IC) engine utilizes approximately one third of the chemical energy released during combustion. The remaining two-thirds are rejected from the engine via the cooling and exhaust systems. Significant improvements in fuel conversion efficiency are possible through the capture and conversion of these waste energy streams. Promising waste heat recovery (WHR) techniques include turbocharging, turbo compounding, Rankine engine compounding, and thermoelectric (TE) generators. These techniques have shown increases in engine thermal efficiencies that range from 2% to 20%, depending on system design, quality of energy recovery, component efficiency, and implementation. The purpose of this paper is to provide a broad review of the advancements in the waste heat recovery methods; thermoelectric generators (TEG) and Rankine cycles for electricity generation, which have occurred over the past 10 yr as these two techniques have been at the forefront of current research for their untapped potential. The various mechanisms and techniques, including thermodynamic analysis, employed in the design of a waste heat recovery system are discussed.

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