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IIT-G offers new tech to tap energy from water

A locket wayside drinking water tap in Palakkad | Photo for representation

A locket wayside drinking water tap in Palakkad | Photo for representation   | Photo Credit: K.K. Mustafah

Team uses electro-kinetic streaming

A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati (IIT-G) has developed materials that can produce energy from flowing or stagnant water in households. The decentralised energy model involving a large number of small generation devices can generate energy in every household and the excess energy thus produced can be evacuated to energy-deficient areas nearby, the team led by Kalyan Raidongia of IIT-G’s Department of Chemistry said.

The team employed “electro-kinetic streaming potential” to harvest energy from flowing tap water and “contrasting inter-facial activities” entailing different types of semiconducting materials to generate power from stagnant water.

Dr. Raidongia said the electro-kinetic materials have not been harnessed until now. “We demonstrated when fluids stream through tiny channels that are charged, they can generate an electrical voltage, which may be harnessed through miniaturised generators,” he said.

The team also fabricated devices with doped graphene flakes for generating power by dipping in a bucket of water or any stagnant water source to “complementary charge transfer activities”. Graphene is the sheet produced by oxidation followed by reduction of natural graphite flakes.

“We modified graphene in such a way that its electron density is manipulated; even stagnant water in contact with this form of graphene can produce energy,” Dr. Raidongia said.

“We use a lot of water in our daily lives. Water stored in buckets and water flowing from taps can potentially be used to produce energy if such nano-generators can be developed further.”

The other members of the team are Jumi Deka, Kundan Sana, Suresh Kumar and Hemant Kumar Srivastava. Their findings were published in the journal, ACS Applied Nano Materials.

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Printable version | Jul 13, 2020 8:48:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/iit-g-offers-new-tech-to-tap-energy-from-water/article30435707.ece

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