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The clean energy. Researchers are developing technology to harness the strength of fresh and sea water

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Researchers have found an inexpensive technology that can be an important source of renewable energy in the future.

Stanford University scientists have developed and tested a prototype of a battery that is able to draw out the mixture of salt sea water and fresh water, which is also known as the “blue power” — at the wastewater treatment plant. World, according to the scientists, the asset’s recoverable energy from the shores of the wastewater treatment plant is approximately 18 gigawatts, which is enough to power 1,700 homes for an entire year.

“Blue energy is a vast and untapped source of renewable energy,” said study co-author Kristian Dubrawski, a postdoctoral scholar in civil and environmental engineering at Stanford university, in a statement. “Our battery life is a major step forward in the direction of the capturing of energy, without the membranes, moving parts or energy inputs.”

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The Hyperion Water Reclamation Plants on the Santa Monica Bay in Los Angeles, is an example of a coastal waste water treatment is that it can recover the energy from the mixing of sea water and treated waste water.
Doc Searls / Flickr)

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As the researchers explain in their paper, they are monitored for the battery, prototype and production of energy in the coils with the waste water from the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant, and the seawater was collected in the vicinity of Half Moon Bay. The battery materials and to maintain a 97-percent effective in capturing the evolution of the salinity of energy, according to Stanford University.

Wastewater treatment plants are known to be energy intensive and may be vulnerable to the power grid shutdowns, which happened to be in California, in the midst of the wildfire crisis, however, the researchers note, so they’re more energy-independent would be to cut back on emissions and to potential black-outs.

According to the researchers, the process of the determination of a “blue energy” of the releases of sodium and chloride ions from the battery electrodes are in the solution, resulting in a current flow from one electrode to the other, and after a quick exchange of sewage effluent and seawater, leads to the electrode to reincorporate sodium-and chloride-ions and a reversal of the current flow.

The energy is recovered when the fresh and sea water flush, with no upfront investment or charging is required. However, the researchers cautioned that the concept needs to be tested more.

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“This is a scientifically elegant solution to a complex problem,” Dubrawski said. “It has to be tested at scale, and it is not up to the challenge by tapping the blue energy on the global scale, rivers to the ocean, but it is a good starting point, and that could spur this development.”

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