Scientists have proven that electricity can be obtained from water with a high salt content

أثبت العلماء أنه يمكن الحصول على الكهرباء من الماء الذي يحتوي على نسبة عالية من الملح

Graphic abstract. attributed to him: Cell Reports Physical Sciences (2022). DOI: 10.1016 / j.xcrp.2022.01065

The innovation of renewable energy sources is a major concern of scientists, political leaders and societies as the world grapples with the realities of climate change and the limits of Earth’s natural resources. In an exciting new development, scientists from the Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research (SANKEN) at Osaka University have shown that electricity can be obtained from water with a high salt content, such as seawater.

Some people think ofosmosis“Just as a science term they were forced to learn in an elementary school biology class. However, the spontaneous movement of ions or dissolved molecules across a semi-permeable membrane when there is a difference in concentration between the two sides can be harnessed to generate electricity. Fortunately, the oceans are filled with salt water, which can be used To help mitigate humanity’s ever-increasing demand for energy, however, for this membrane to be practical, it would have to be extremely thin and extremely selective to allow ions – but not water molecules – to pass through.

Now, a research team led by Osaka University has used traditional semiconductor processing technology to precisely control the structure and arrangement nano in a thin film of silicone. Since these manufacturing methods have been around for decades, costs and design complexities have been reduced. Moreover, the size and location of the pores can be precisely controlled.

“In the event of an imbalance situation, such as two different water tanks salt concentrations“There is often an opportunity to convert this thermodynamic energy into electricity,” says first author Makuso Tsutsui.

Using a single 20-nm nano-hole, the device reached a peak energy efficiency of 400 kW/m2. However, the researchers found that adding too many nanopores to the membrane actually reduced the energy that could be extracted. The optimal pore configuration, the 100 nm nanopores arranged in a 1-μm lattice, resulted in an osmotic energy density of 100 W/m2.

This was an important step in understanding how to design nano-hole devices for optimum power generation. “Many other research groups promise eco-friendly ‘green’ energy, but we go one step further and propose ‘blue’ energy based on ocean water that can be applied on an industrial scale,” senior author Tomoji Kawai says. The study was published in Cell Reports Physical Sciencesand future projects may include ways to scale the devices for real-world testing.

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more information:
Makusu Tsutsui et al., Dispersed and multi-nano osmotic power generators, Cell Reports Physical Sciences (2022). DOI: 10.1016 / j.xcrp.2022.01065

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