Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a super-hydrophobic surface that can be used to generate electrical voltage.
When salt water flows over this specially patterned surface, it can produce at least 50 millivolts. The proof-of-concept work could lead to the development of new power sources for lab-on-a-chip platforms and other microfluidics devices. It could someday be extended to energy harvesting methods in water desalination plants, researchers said.
A team of researchers led by Prab Bandaru, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, and first author Bei Fan, a graduate student in Bandaru’s research group, published their work in the Oct. 3 issue of Nature Communications.
The main idea behind this work is to create electrical voltage by moving ions over a charged surface. And the faster you can move these ions, the more voltage you can generate, explained Bandaru.
Bandaru’s team created a surface so hydrophobic that it enables water (and any ions it carries) to flow faster when passing over. The surface also holds a negative charge, so a rapid flow of positive ions in salt water with respect to this negatively charged surface results in an electrical potential difference, creating an electrical voltage.
“The reduced friction from this surface as well as the consequent electrical interactions helps to obtain significantly enhanced electrical voltage,” said Bandaru.
The surface was made by etching tiny ridges into a silicon substrate and then filling the ridges with oil (such as synthetic motor oil used for lubrication). In tests, dilute salt water was transported by syringe pump over the surface in a microfluidic channel, and then the voltage was measured across the ends of the channel.
There have been previous reports on super-hydrophobic, or so-called “lotus leaf” surfaces designed to speed up fluid flow at the surface. However, these surfaces have so far been patterned with tiny air pockets—and since air does not hold charge, the result is a smaller electric potential difference and thus, a smaller voltage. By replacing air with a liquid like synthetic oil—which holds charge and won’t mix with salt water—Bandaru and Fan created a surface that produces at least 50 percent more electrical voltage than previous designs. According to Bandaru, higher voltages may also be obtained through faster liquid velocities and narrower and longer channels.
Moving forward, the team is working on creating channels with these patterned surfaces that can produce more electrical power.
Receive an email update when we add a new ELECTRICITY GENERATION article.
The Latest on: Electricity generation
via Google News
The Latest on: Electricity generation
- ‘Capital grants, tax holiday critical to renewable energy penetration in Nigeria’ on October 9, 2018 at 10:24 pm
For instance, going by the masterplan, the government envisioned that Nigeria would have 600 megawatts installed capacity of solar Photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal for electricity generation ... […]
- Rise in electricity tariffs unlikely despite high generation costs on October 9, 2018 at 10:00 pm
Fitch Ratings rules out govt. implementing cost-reflective pricing formula amid rising living costs But says generation costs to remain high amid rising oil prices and low hydropower contribution Fitc... […]
- Global Boilers, Turbines and Generators for Power Generation Market Size 2018 Opportunity Analysis, Competitive Insights and Forecast to 2025 on October 9, 2018 at 9:13 pm
Market study on Global Boilers, Turbines and Generators for Power Generation 2018 Research Report presents a professional and complete analysis of Global Boilers, Turbines and Generators for Power Gen... […]
- For efficient electricity supply on October 9, 2018 at 9:00 pm
a type of manure heap that emits the requisite gas for such electricity generation. We saw such type of heap in Epe Junction, Isolo-Ejigbo, and other places. It seems Prof. Nnaji is still in the ... […]
- Boilers, Turbines and Generators for Power Generation Market on October 9, 2018 at 8:56 pm
Market study on Global Boilers, Turbines and Generators for Power Generation 2018 Research Report presents a professional and complete analysis of Global Boilers, Turbines and Generators for Power Gen ... […]
- How Much Power Do ‘Millennials’ Actually Have? on October 9, 2018 at 2:07 pm
Taken as a whole, millennials do wield an incredible amount of economic and cultural power. This is why they terrify moribund ... To what extent does a generation shape history, and to what extent is ... […]
- How an architect is using solar power to prevent Puerto Rico’s next disaster on October 9, 2018 at 3:34 am
Across the country, small-scale solar generation is tightly regulated by power authorities that have been accused of trying to squash home power generation so that utilities can maintain a ... […]
- Minesto Generates Electricity for the First Time With Commercial-scale Unit on October 9, 2018 at 12:23 am
2018 /PRNewswire/ --Marine energy developer Minesto has achieved initial electricity generation with its first commercial-scale marine energy kite during the commissioning program of the company's ... […]
- Global Renewable Power Generation to Rise by 1 Trillion Watts on October 8, 2018 at 6:46 am
In 2017, renewable sources generated 24% of the world’s electricity. By 2023, that total will rise to almost 30% with the addition of 1 trillion watts (terawatts or TW) to renewable power ... […]
via Bing News