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Bioinspired Nanoionic Materials for Watt-scale Nano-Hydroelectric Generator

Project Member(s): Su, D.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Research Council (ARC Discovery Projects)
Australian Research Council (ARC Discovery Projects)

Start year: 2023

Summary: Emerging wearable electronics call for safe, light-weight and cost-effective power sources that can provide green electric energy. Nature gives inspiration in exploring highly efficient, sustainable green electricity from water. For example, an electric eel can generate a high voltage up to 600 V from chemical potential energy of Na+ and K+ ion gradient in its electrocytes. To extract electric energy from the ion gradient, various energy systems including reverse electrodialysis, artificial electric organs, nanofluidic devices and moisture electric generators have been developed. However, these systems suffer from low power output (~100 µW to several mW) or require bulky pumping systems and large ion-exchange membranes, which is far from the requirement for practical wearable electronics. Therefore, it is essential to explore new materials and devices which can produce watt-scale power output from chemical potential energy that will enable highly efficient, portable and eco-friendly electricity generating technology. this joint project among Sydney basin and Barcelona leading universities is to develop bio-inspired nanoionic materials that can effectively convert chemical potential energy from ion gradient into electricity in the presence of water droplets. Precise regulation of ion diffusion channels in electrokinetic conversion materials, rational design of the solid/liquid/vapor interfaces, and scale-up printing of all-region applicable nano-hydroelectric generator are proposed as the new methodologies to develop high performance, portable power supply.

FOR Codes: Management of greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation, Hydro-electric energy, Functional materials, Composite and hybrid materials