Terri-Jane Yuzda

New Electrical Source Discovered


Researchers at the University of Alberta's Faculty of Engineering have discovered a new and non-polluting way of generating electricity from flowing water - a story that grabbed international attention when it broke on The PEGG's deadline last month. The technology could provide a new power source for devices such as mobile phones or calculators, or even contribute to a nation's power grid.

The research was published last month by the Institute of Physics' Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering. It reveals a new method of generating electric power by harnessing the natural electrokinetic properties of a liquid such as ordinary tap water when it is pumped through tiny microchannels.

The research was led by U of A professors Dr. Daniel Kwok, a thermodynamicist, and Dr. Larry Kostiuk, P.Eng., a nanofabrication researcher. With the assistance of two graduate students, the team was able to illuminate a real light bulb by exploiting the coupling between electrokinetic phenomena and the hydrodynamics of liquid flow.

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