Scientists discover low-cost method of using air and water vapor to generate electricity

Scientists at the University of Massachusetts at Amster have created a device that can generate electricity from naturally present water vapor in the atmosphere,media reported. This could be a real game-changer, especially when it comes to powering wireless electronic devices. The device, known as Air-gen, is believed to date back more than three decades to the muddy shores of the Potomac River.

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When Jun Yao, an electrical engineer, experimented with the material, it found that it was almost accidental that nanowires generated current when they came into contact with the electrodes in a specific way.

The scientist points out that exposure to atmospheric humidity is essential for this process, in which case protein nanowires absorb water to create a voltage gradient in the device.

Scientists discover low-cost method of using air and water vapor to generate electricity

ScienceAlert points out that while the current iteration generates a continuous voltage of about 0.5V, the team says multiple devices can be used together to generate enough power to charge small electronic devices such as smartphones. The advantage of this technology is its renewable, non-polluting and low-cost use even in low-humidity areas such as deserts. Unlike other renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, it can even be used indoors.

Yao’s team hopes to eventually develop a large system that supplies power to the grid, even combining it into wall paint to power the house.