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Anastasia Riedel, Associated Press
Sure, we all complain about the humidity on a sweltering summer day. But it turns out that moisture itself can be a source of clean, pollution-free energy, according to New study.
“Air humidity is a vast and sustainable reservoir of energy that, unlike solar and wind energy, is constantly available,” said the study, which was recently published in the journal. Advanced materials.
“It’s very exciting,” said Xiaoming Liu, a graduate student in the college. University of Massachusetts Amherst, and lead author of the paper. “We’re opening the door wide for harvesting clean electricity from the air.”
In fact, researchers say almost any material can be made into a device that continuously harvests electricity from moisture in the air.
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Air contains a huge amount of electricity
“The air contains an enormous amount of electricity,” he said. Jun Yao, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and senior author of the paper. “Think of a cloud, which is nothing more than a mass of water droplets. Each of these droplets contains a charge, and when the conditions are right, the cloud can produce a bolt of lightning — but we don’t know how to reliably capture the electricity from lightning.
“What we’ve done is create a small, man-made cloud that predictably and continuously produces electricity for us so we can harvest it.”
The core of the man-made cloud relies on what Yao and colleagues refer to as an air-generator, or “air-generation” effect for short.
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“Important implications for the future of renewable energy”
The new study builds on research from a study published in 2020. That year, scientists said this new technology “could have significant implications for the future of renewable energy, climate change, and the future of medicine.” That study showed that it was possible to draw energy from the moisture with a substance that came from the bacteria. The new study finds that almost any material, such as silicone or wood, can also be used.
The device mentioned in the study is the size of a fingernail and thinner than one hair, and it is dotted with tiny holes known as nanopores. Washington Post mentioned. “The diameter of the holes is smaller than 100 nanometers, or less than a thousandth the width of a strand of human hair,” the paper said.
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Energy can be harvested from the air 24/7, rain or shine, day or night
In addition, according to A Statement from the universityBecause the moisture is always there, the harvester will run 24/7, rain or shine, at night and whether the wind blows or not, which solves one of the major problems for technologies like wind or solar, which only work under certain conditions. .
“The work opens a broad door for large-scale exploration of sustainable electricity from air,” the study said.
Nearly a billion wind generators, stacked to be roughly the size of a refrigerator, could produce a kilowatt and partially power a home, Yao told the Washington Post, under ideal conditions.
“Imagine a world in the future where clean electricity is everywhere you go,” Yao said. “The general air gene effect means that this futuristic world can become a reality.”
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