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Author Topic: Researchers create self charging "ambient" battery w/ graphene (Maxwell's demon)  (Read 10075 times)

Offline broli

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Quote
Researchers at Hong Kong Polytechnic University claim to have invented a new kind of graphene-based "battery" that runs solely on ambient heat. The device is said to capture the thermal energy of ions in a solution and convert it into electricity. The results are in the process of being peer reviewed, but if confirmed, such a device might find use in a range of applications, including powering artificial organs from body heat, generating renewable energy and powering electronics.

http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/48889

http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1203/1203.0161.pdf

Sometimes it takes really simple experiments to discover interesting new things.
The paper is very clear and very understandable unlike your typical research paper. Basically one such battery produces around 0.33V. This is not bad considering the effective surface area of the sample was a mere 3 mm × 5 mm. Dissimilar electrodes were used so the current would have a preferred direction. Finally all electrodes and edges were sealed to avoid contact with the solution leaving only the graphene.

I can't wait for them to try this out on much larger sheets like these.
http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2010/June/20061001.asp

I find it strange that such a promising material has been in the labs for so long. Over the years I keep reading breakthrough after breakthrough using graphene but nothing commercial uses it. Does anyone else smell an anti-technology conspiracy.

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Offline mscoffman

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I find it strange that such a promising material has been in the labs for so long. Over the years I keep reading breakthrough after breakthrough using graphene but nothing commercial uses it. Does anyone else smell an anti-technology conspiracy.

Like electrets?  Apperantly they work only for audio.
 
:S:MarkSCoffman

Offline broli

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There actually is a newer paper out by the same researcher with an improvement on the previous battery. This one uses graphite instead of gold, and glass as the substrate instead of silicon/SiO2.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1204.6688

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Offline broli

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Yet another new article of the same researchers:

Quote
Electricity generated from Ambient Heat by Pencils 
Zihan Xu, Guo'an Tai (Submitted on 17 Jun 2012)

The idea of generating electricity from ambient heat has significant meanings for both science and engineering. Here, we present an interesting idea of using pencil leads, which are made of graphite and clay, to generate electricity from the thermal motion of ions in aqueous electrolyte solution at room temperature. When two pencil leads were placed in parallel in the solutions, output power of 0.655, 1.023, 1.023 and 1.828 nW were generated in 3 M KCl, NaCl, NiCl2 and CuCl2 solutions, respectively. Besides, we also demonstrate that two pieces of reduced graphene oxide films and /or few-layer graphene films can generate much more electricity when dipped into the solutions, while there was no electrodes contact with the solution. This finding further verified that the electricity was not resulted from the chemical reaction between the electrodes and the solutions. The results also demonstrate that ambient thermal energy can be harvested with low dimensional materials, such as graphene, or with the surface of solid material without the presence of temperature gradient. However, the mechanism is still unclear.
http://arxiv.org/abs/1206.3748

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Offline Mercure

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Havent seen this on another post..
But here's an easy way to create graphene.

http://www.gizmag.com/making-graphene-from-table-sugar/16953/

Offline broli

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Maxwell's demon returns, by the same researchers

http://arxiv.org/abs/1406.4622
Quote
We report experimentally that the electricity is generated from ambient thermal fluctuations across a non-ideal diode consisted of a silicon tip and an aluminum surface. The output is tuned by the contact force which modulates Schottky barrier heights as well as rectifying ratios of the diodes. The interaction regime between the silicon and the aluminum locates at the quantum-classical boundary where thermal fluctuations are appreciable, and the rectification of thermal fluctuations leads to the electricity generation. This finding offers an innovative approach to environmental energy harvesting.

To sum it up, they jabbed a piece if silicon into a piece of aluminum and found this asymmetric arraignment produces electricity from ambient heat. I encourage you to read the paper as it's very readable. It's strange that findings like these go unnoticed, wouldn't a wafer of such diodes produce many watts?

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Offline profitis

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I was expecting this announcement sooner or later @broli.I myself shoved germanium crystals onto aluminum foil and got small currents.it is due to uni-directional far infrared reflection on aluminum in my opinion.

Offline teslonian

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I'm quite surprised there isn't much more on this. At first thought I believe it's just radio waves intercepting, germanium.. This reminds me of John C. Bedini's polycrystaline wafer he made where he showed a simple LED being lit up when he touched it to the material, there's a video on it, I'll dig it up later.

Radio Waves can't even hardly light up an LED. I think we should look into this more, especially since this is my first post after almost reading the entire OU forum. ;D

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