Scientists have discovered a simple way to harvest electricity directly

Scientists have discovered a simple way to harvest electricity directly from the air

The air is literally saturated with electricity, explain Scientist. It can be taken from the atmosphere anytime, anywhere. A good example is thunderstorms. A thunderstorm can be recreated at the level of single molecules and become a virtually endless source of energy, US researchers said.

    Image source: Pixabay

Image source: Pixabay

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Amherst (UMass Amherst) have long dealt with the problem of generating electricity from the air. They have been experimenting with cultures of the bacterium Geobacter Sulfurreducens for many years. In a series of scientific papers, researchers have shown that nanostructures made from bacteria and their waste products are capable of generating electricity. Bacteria produce nanometer-thick protein filaments, creating an environment for reliable absorption of moisture from the air. For example, based on the development, scientists presented a patch that generates electricity when human sweat is collected.

    Image source: Xinying Liu

Image source: Xinying Liu

The base material of many nanofilaments creates a difference in moisture level between one electrode and another in its thickness and starts the ionization process in a humid environment. This, of course, leads to the appearance of a potential difference across the electrodes and the flow of current when a load is connected to them. All that is required for the operation of such a generator is humidity, and even in the desert there is moisture.

Further work to improve the “air” generator led to an amazing discovery. It turned out that bacteria are absolutely not necessary for the development. The generator can be made from a variety of readily available materials, but the main thing is to meet certain conditions. The key to this is creating a moisture differential, and how to achieve that is the tenth point.

    Proof of concept in previous work by the group.  Image source: nature

Proof of concept in one of the previous works by the UMass Amherst group. Image source: nature

In the simplest case, a generator for generating electricity from the air consists of two perforated foils lying one on top of the other. The perforation is chosen in such a way that it is difficult for water molecules to penetrate through it, especially with humidity – it is 100 nm. As a result, more moisture accumulates on the upper film than on the lower one, and there can be many such layers – it is one Kind of thundercloud saturated with moisture.

The material can be one for wet areas and another for desert areas, and all without much fuss about bacterial colonies, the researchers say. told In the magazine advanced materials. Scientists therefore conclude that it is possible to create power generators from kilowatt air from multi-layered structures, and it sounds amazing.


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Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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