Washington DC (SPX) Apr 25, 2011
Scientists are reporting development of a new battery that extracts and stores energy produced from the difference in saltiness at the point where freshwater in rivers flows into oceans. A report on the battery, which could supply about 13 percent of the world's energy needs, appears in ACS' journal Nano Letters.
Yi Cui and colleagues cite the intensive global scientific effort to develop renewable energy sources to supplement supplies of oil and other traditional fuels like coal, which contribute to global warming. Solar, wind, and geothermal are renewable, sustainable energy sources that have attracted much attention recently.
Scientists long have known about the possibility of producing electricity from differences in the salinity, or saltiness, of water. So the new study focused on development of more practical ways of tapping that potential.
The result was a so-called "mixing entropy battery." Alternating the flow of river water and sea water through the battery produces electricity to charge it. The process also can be reversed to remove salt from ocean water to produce drinking water.
The scientists describe the battery a very promising potential addition to the ranks of solar, wind, and other renewable energy, and are working on modifications to make the device a commercial reality.
The authors acknowledge funding from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and the U.S. Department of Energy.
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Less Is More: Researchers Pinpoint Graphene's Varying Conductivity Levels
Raleigh NC (SPX) Apr 21, 2011
Did you know that pencil lead may just end up changing the world? Graphene is the material from which graphite, the core of your No. 2 pencil, is made. It is also the latest "wonder material," and may be the electronics industry's next great hope for the creation of extremely fast electronic devices. Researchers at North Carolina State University have found one of the first roadblocks to u ... read more
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