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New Battery Uses Salt Water In Estuaries To Generate Electricity

Uses new type of membrane to power a calculator

Dongdong Yea, Xingzhen Qin, and colleagues designed a semipermeable membrane from environmentally friendly materials to generate electricity. The invention uses estuaries and salt differences in concentration where the water meets the sea to create energy. Although technologies are still improving, this type of energy can be made anywhere these gradients occur. The invention uses membranes that act as batteries, creating electricity from the pressure changes.

This works because the two gradients attempt to even out, and ions flow from one side to the other and increase pressure, harvesting energy. The membrane also has low electric resistance to help the flow of electrons. The prototype has separate channels for ions and electrons. This was achieved by placing ion transport between electron transport, which made for higher conducting and achieved 2.34 times more than an average membrane, and powered a calculator with 20 of them. The team members say their discoveries expand the range of materials that could be used to make similar membranes and contribute to overall performance.

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