Moisture can become a new energy source

Today, steam can be added to the list of the largest renewable energy sources available in nature.

We are no stranger to natural renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal. But today, steam can be added to the list of the largest renewable energy sources available in nature . In an effort to prove the potential of this new energy source, Dr. Ozgur Sahin and his colleagues created a prototype of the generator with movable rubber sheets corresponding to changes in degrees. moist thanks to a bacterial spore coating.

>>>Video: New energy source from humidity

In a 2012 study published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Sahin and colleagues included Dr. L. Mahadevan - Core Faculty member of the Wyss Institute and Adam Driks - professor of microbiology and microbiology. Immunologically at Loyola University's Stritch School of Medicine, Chicago described in detail how a bacterium called Bacillus subtilis dried itself to become a hard spore with a wrinkled and immobile crust. After that, these spores can almost immediately be restored to their original state when exposed to water.

Picture 1 of Moisture can become a new energy source
Bacillus subtilis

Researchers believe that spores must store energy to restore their state. In order to measure the stored energy level of spores, Sahin coated a thin layer of soft silicon scum with a solution containing spores with the assumption that he would be able to measure the directional force according to the moisture through a Atomic microscope. What surprised him was that before he put the specimen into the microscope, Sahin was able to see with the naked eye that the planks were bent and straightened corresponding to changes in moisture from his breath.

Sahin found that sporadically coated planks can produce 1,000 times more force than human muscles when moisture is increased from dryness like sunny days to humid days. more fog. This figure is 10 times more than the materials currently used to make drives. Sahin also calculated that every 0.45 kilograms of dry spores could generate enough force to lift a car off the ground 1 meter.

After experimenting with silicon, rubber, plastic and adhesive tape, Sahin chose rubber as the most promising material for a spore-coated actuator. With Lego assemblies, a small fan, a magnet and a spore-coated frame, Sahin created a moisture-based generator that could generate electricity through rotation. of the magnet due to the forward or backward effect of the spore frame when responding to changes in moisture.

Although the prototype can only capture a relatively small percentage of the energy released by evaporation, Sahin said the efficiency, which can be improved by engineering spore chemistry, makes it harder and more flexible depending on the status. Researchers believe that someday technology will be able to be improved and we will have generators that work according to changes in humidity from warm waters and ports.

"Solar and wind power fluctuates abruptly when it is not sunny or the wind is not blowing, and we will not be able to store enough energy to supply the grid for long periods of time. can be exploited to generate electricity at night and during the day with a new transmitter system, it can provide the world with a new source of renewable energy " , Wyss director and founder - Don Ingber said.