According to scientists from Stanford University, where blended salty ocean water with fresh water, can be a source of production of huge amount of renewable energy, according to a press release published on the University website. The authors note that this technology of energy production could make coastal treatment plants wastewater energy independent from other power sources. In addition, this type of energy production creates no pollution to the environment.
As water produces energy?
When fresh water from coastal treatment plants is mixed with salt water, in the course of this process is an electrochemical reaction during which energy is produced. This energy can be used for example to recharge the batteries.
The scientists estimate that one cubic meter of fresh water mixing with the same amount of salt water able to produce about 0.65 kilowatt-hours of energy. This would be enough to power the average American home for about 30 minutes. On a larger scale, at the level of all coastal sewage treatment facilities, it will be possible to produce around 18 gigawatts of electricity. And this, scientists say, is already enough to feed more than 1,700 homes in a year.
For testing of the technology, researchers created from affordable and durable materials a new type of battery. At the heart of his work lies the idea of using ions of salt (sodium chloride). Getting to the battery in fresh water first releases sodium ions and chlorine from the electrodes of the battery contained within the solution that directs the current from one electrode to another. And when to the place of fresh water in the battery gets salt water, the battery is charging.
Scientists tested the prototype of a new battery on one of the coastal California treatment facilities in Palo(United States), where the mixed salt and waste (fresh) water. 180 recharge cycles battery components retained 97 percent efficiency of capture of ions of salts that are used in the production of energy.
The researchers note that the output power of the prototype battery is still low, but the increased battery life is quite real. In addition, scientists say that the batteries themselves are made from cheap materials, and the design of the system is very simple – it uses no moving parts, so it
Why is it necessary?
In wastewater one of the local coastal treatment plants, scientists have tested his system not just. The researchers note that in the United States on wastewater treatment costs of about 3% of all domestically produced energy.
New technology in the future can afford to abandon the external energy sources at such facilities and use only the power produced by such batteries.