A team of scientists made public their new study that discloses the fact that with the help of saltwater and rust energy can be produced. The team of scientists that conducted the experiment is part of Caltech and Northwestern University. The innovative discovery is breaking new ground as the research has the potential to lead to the creation of renewed methods of producing energy.
It was widely known among the connoisseurs that compounds that contain one or more metal elements bonded together, in combination with salt water, can create electricity. In this chemical process, a minimum of one compound is transformed into another mixture. The Caltech and Northwestern University team found out that iron oxide, commonly known as rust, has the properties to convert the kinetic energy of flowing saltwater into electric power.
The new study reveals that saltwater and rust can produce energy
The team of researchers also discovered other materials that can have the same outcome. Electricity can also derive from the flowing of saltwater on graphene. The only roadblock is the fact that graphene sheets are quite hard to create and enlarge. Therefore, it is not the best candidate to produce electricity. But rust can be found everywhere and can be obtained quite fast on every iron surface; as a result, it is not that hard to use it to create power.
In their experiment, the team tried a variety of vacuum deposition methods, among which the physical vapor deposition (PVD) gave the best results. Physical vapor deposition is the method in which the matter undergoes a condensed phase, then a vapor phase and then back to a thin film condensed phase. The most frequently used processes of PVD are sputtering and evaporation. The result was a coating of rust thousands of times thinner than a human hair. The moment salt water passed over the fine layer of rust, the water ions drew the iron electrons with them, which resulted in electricity.