Renewable energy: Nanotubes to channel osmotic power

March 1, 2013

The salinity difference between fresh water and salt water could be a source of renewable energy. However, power yields from existing techniques are not high enough to make them viable. A solution to this problem may now have been found.

A team led by physicists at the Institut Lumière Matière in Lyon, in collaboration with the Institut Néel (CNRS), has discovered a new means of harnessing this energy: osmotic flow through nanotubes generates huge , with 1,000 times the efficiency of any previous system.

To achieve this result, the researchers developed a highly novel that enabled them, for the first time, to study osmotic fluid transport through a single nanotube.

Their findings are published in the 28 February issue of Nature.

Explore further: Simulations help explain fast water transport in nanotubes

More information: Siria, A. et al. Giant osmotic energy conversion measured in a single transmembrane boron-nitride nanotube, Nature. 28 Feb 2013. www.nature.com/nature/journal/v494/n7438/full/nature11876.html

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3 comments

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Caliban
2 / 5 (2) Mar 01, 2013
Thanks for the detailed synopsis, PHYSORG! Now we know precisely how and why this novel process is poised to leave all other saline-differential energy extraction technologies gasping in the dry, dirty dust of obsolescence.
FastEddy
1 / 5 (1) Mar 04, 2013
See: Nature. 28 Feb 2013. www.nature.com/na...876.html
arq
not rated yet Mar 06, 2013
Desalination and producing electricity, one of my fav topics.

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