Forget about instant noodles and the fact that all you need to do is add water – a rather similar approach is taken with this new kind of battery developed by scientists over at Stanford, where it relies on nanotechnology to create electricity from the difference in salt content between fresh water and sea water. It is hoped that this technology can be expounded on to develop power plants that allows fresh water rivers to flow into the ocean, where the newly dubbed “mixing entropy” battery will alternate immerse its electrodes in river water and sea water so that electrical power is produced. Hopefully the energy required to perform this alternate immersion is less than the electricity generated, otherwise it would be an exercise in futility.
This is not a new concept, however, as salinity power technology has been attempted before with Norway’s Statkraft working on a prototype power plant. The Stanford team differs, however, as they strongly believe that their method is far more efficient, and is a whole lot more affordable to construct from the ground up.
Just how does the standard fresh/salt water power plant work? Well, they release energy through osmosis, but Stanford decided to harness entropic energy from the interaction of the fresh water and salt water with the battery’s electrodes. Hopefully concrete and viable results can be seen soon – so that the world will be better off for it.
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