Students from IIT Guwahati has discovered a new method by which energy can be drawn from water sources. A team lead by Dr. Kalyan Raidongia of IIT Guwahati from the department of chemistry has briefed the media about their success in harnessing energy from stagnant as well as flowing water.
Dr. Raidongia has further briefed that, the team employed “electro-kinetic streaming potential” to harvest energy from flowing tap water and “contrasting inter-facial activities” encompassing different type of semiconductor materials to generate power from stagnant water sources. The decentralised energy model involves a large number of small generation devices that can generate energy in every household and the excess energy so produced can also be transferred to remote areas which lacks sufficient harnessing sources. “Basic idea of the model has clicked by harnessing electro kinetic materials (a type of smart material) which can generate an electrical voltage when comes in contact with charged fluid streams flowing through tiny channels” he added.
The team has also briefed about their recent fabrication of devices with doped graphene flakes (an allotrope of carbon) which can generate power by dipping in a stagnant water source. Graphene is an allotrope of carbon which is produced by oxidation followed by reduction of natural graphite flakes. “We modified the graphene in such a way that even its electron density is manipulated; giving rise to such a material which can produce energy when comes in contact with stagnant water,” said Dr. Raidongia.
Explaining the practical applicability of the model he briefed, “In our day-to-day life we use a lot of water. The water stored in bucket and flowing through a tap can potentially be used to produce energy by developing nano-generators. Other members of the team: Jumi Deka, Kundan Sana, Suresh Kumar and Hemant Kumar Srivastawa are also the students of IIT-Guwahati from the department of applied chemistry.