Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Water Is Power - Or Soon May Be

Polypyrrole Polymer
MIT engineers have created a polymer, they call it a film, that generates electrical energy by the flexing motion (mechanical movement) of the film as absorbs and evaporates water vapor.  The article, called "New Material Harvests Energy From Water Vapor" has all the details.

As it turns out, the polymer called polypyrrole has been used before, but resulted in too weak a response to generate much electricity at all.  The new approach interlocks another, more rigid polymer, called polyol-borate, into the polypyrrole.  Interweaving both materials gives the film a much larger displacement motion as the water vapor is absorbed and then evaporated.   It is this displacement motion that is converted to electrical energy.

I wouldn't look for this new stuff to be lifting cars for chassis repair anytime soon, but the developers think the power will be sufficient to run a whole host of micro-electrical devices.  Just goes to show you, there is more power in water than just the hydrogen and oxygen.

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