Renewable energy: Nanotubes to channel osmotic power

Mar 01, 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: Research proves nanobubbles are superstable

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

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Renewable Energy Made by Mixing Salt and Fresh Water

Sep 02, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- When a river flows into the sea, the location is more than just a haven for water commerce. The mixing of fresh and salt water that occurs at an estuary also dissipates energy, as the different ...

Boosting the amount of energy obtained from water

Nov 18, 2009

The energy generated in places where fresh water and salt water meet is known as blue energy. This is a relatively new but highly promising renewable energy source. Piotr Długołęcki of the University ...

Simulations help explain fast water transport in nanotubes

Sep 16, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- By discovering the physical mechanism behind the rapid transport of water in carbon nanotubes, scientists at the University of Illinois have moved a step closer to ultra-efficient, next-generation ...

Recommended for you

Research proves nanobubbles are superstable

15 hours ago

The intense research interest in surface nanobubbles arises from their potential applications in microfluidics and the scientific challenge for controlling their fundamental physical properties. One of the ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

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.

More news stories

Research proves nanobubbles are superstable

The intense research interest in surface nanobubbles arises from their potential applications in microfluidics and the scientific challenge for controlling their fundamental physical properties. One of the ...

Genetic code of the deadly tsetse fly unraveled

Mining the genome of the disease-transmitting tsetse fly, researchers have revealed the genetic adaptions that allow it to have such unique biology and transmit disease to both humans and animals.