Renewable energy: Nanotubes to channel osmotic power

March 1st, 2013 in Nanotechnology / Nanophysics

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.

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

Provided by CNRS

"Renewable energy: Nanotubes to channel osmotic power." March 1st, 2013. http://phys.org/news/2013-03-renewable-energy-nanotubes-channel-osmotic.html