The Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati (IITG) researchers have produced small-scale materials that can generate energy from water.
Kalyan Raidongia of the flagship institute's department of chemistry said this on Monday.
“The new ways of producing energy can be employed in household environments to support the concept of decentralization of energy sources,” he added.
In the centralized energy generation model, one large plant produces energy for an entire region, in contrast, the decentralized energy model introduces a large number of small generation devices that can be employed to generate in every household.
“The excess energy produced in households can be transported to nearby areas where there is an excessive need for energy,” Raidongia said.
He said that the researchers of his team have employed the nanoscale phenomenon called “Electrokinetic streaming potential” to harvest energy from flowing water on the small length scale like water flowing through household water taps.
“Similarly, the “Contrasting Interfacial Activities” different types of semiconducting materials were employed to generate power from stagnant water,” he said.
Other members of the team include Jumi Deka, Kundan Saha, Suresh Kumar, and Hemant Kumar Srivastav.
“When fluids stream through tiny channels that are charged, they can generate an electrical voltage, which may be harnessed through miniaturized generators”, said Raidongia.
The researchers demonstrated that power output can be improved by thousand times by attaining the best out of these parameters through biconical nanofluidic channels that interconnect tetrahedral and octahedral voids in the close-packed silica spheres.
“We use a lot of stagnant and flowing water in our daily lives. Water stored in buckets and water flowing from taps can potentially be used to produce energy if such nanogenerators can be developed further,” he said.
It can be noted here that the imminent energy crisis that has emerged from the dual problems of diminishing fossil fuel reserves and environmental problems associated with the use of such fuel, has led to significant research into alternative energy sources such as light, heat, wind, ocean waves, etc.
While the traditional form of blue energy is hydroelectric power from rivers, efforts have been made in recent years to harness the power of water in other ways.
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