Friday, September 24, 2010

Scientists Working On Technology That Extracts Electricity From The Air

What if we could extract electricity from the air? Is something like that even possible? New research presented at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, suggests that it is. In fact, scientists are currently working on such technology.

The lead researcher, Fernando Galembeck, Ph.D said this at the meeting:

"Our research could pave the way for turning electricity from the atmosphere into an alternative energy source for the future." Just as solar energy could free some households from paying electric bills, this promising new energy source could have a similar effect."

From solar panels to wind turbines and now air extractors? This strange science is just that.

The idea to extract electricity out of the air is not a new one. Scientists have been thinking about the possibility for ages. The only problem was that they didn't know how to exactly go about doing it. But thanks to the geniuses of today's age. The possibility is now a reality. It just may take another few years to get it working properly.

How does it work?
Scientists now know that airborne water droplets can be charged when they connect with dust particles that are naturally present in the air. Which Fernando and his colleagues simulated in laboratory experiments. The idea now is to develop devices that extract energy from them.

The public release states: "Scientists once believed that water droplets in the atmosphere were electrically neutral, and remained so even after coming into contact with the electrical charges on dust particles and droplets of other liquids. But new evidence suggested that water in the atmosphere really does pick up an electrical charge."

In lay mans terms, the device that scientists hope to create will just collect "humidity" from the air and extract the electricity from it. So the higher the humidity in your area, the better this kind of technology will work. It's just like solar panels, really. If there is no sun, the solar panels are useless. If there is no humidity the air collectors are useless.

If you want a fancy word to go with it. "Hygroelectricity" is what smart people will call it. That's just the smart way of saying, "Humidity electricity".

All in all, I think this technology sounds really awesome. Who would of thought we could suck the electricity right out of the air we breathe?

Further reading - EurekAlert

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