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Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Salty Solution for Energy Generation

Technology Review
May 3, 2011

The difference in salinity between freshwater and saltwater holds promise as a large source of renewable energy. Energy is required to desalinate water, and running the process in reverse can generate energy. Now a novel approach based on a conventional battery design that uses nanomaterials could provide a way to harvest that energy economically.

The new device, developed by researchers at Stanford University, consists of an electrode that attracts positive sodium ions and one that attracts negative chlorine ions. When the electrodes are immersed in saltwater, they draw sodium and chlorine ions from the water, and the movement of the ions creates an electrical current. The electrodes are recharged by draining the saltwater, replacing it with freshwater, and applying a relatively low-voltage electrical current, which draws the ions back out of the electrodes. When the freshwater is drained, the electrodes are ready to attract more ions from the next batch of saltwater. To read more click here...


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