Researchers from Columbia University manufactured prototypes of two devices
, working with water and bacterial spores . The first device - piston electric power generator, and the second - the rotating turbine.
Author of the guiding, Ozgur Sahin, an assistant professor at the University used to create prototypes that bacterial spores in the absorption of water is strong enough swell, and when dry - shrinks. Specific force that develops at the same time is quite large.
To create a piston engine used Sahin polyethylene strip, which on both sides pointwise applied spores. In this spot spores deposited on strips staggered - so that in the field gaps between patches are on one side spot on the other side.
As a result, when dry spores spots begin to shrink and bend the strips, giving them a wavy shape. When cutting, the strip is able to pull payload. Moisten, spots expand and lengthen the strip. As a result, the device is an artificial muscle, the operation of which is controlled by humidity.
By placing a few dozen of the strips inside the plastic housing, scientists got a working prototype of the device. The body floating in the water, and at its center is the absorbent material, covered with curtains, which are connected to the strip.
Moistened strip straightened and open curtains, exposing the material. As a result, it dries, moisture drops, and closes the shutter. Combining a moving part of the device to an electric, researchers have enough energy to recharge the LED. Thus the energy of evaporation of water is converted into electricity.
To create a motor rotation scientists strips glued at one end to the wheel. Spores this time were applied to the strip on one side. Once in a dry environment, the strips are bent. If they get moisture, strips are straightened.
When applied to a wheel shaft and to provide a moist environment on the one hand, and dry - with the other strip on one side wheel will be straightened, and the other - to shrink, creating a constant imbalance. This scheme is reminiscent of a well-known project of perpetual motion - but, unlike him, really works. On its basis, scientists have made a toy car that moves quite well.
The project is a perpetual motion machine. I>
Scientists believe that large and sophisticated version of such mechanisms can in principle ensure the creation of clean energy. Other examples of the use of water for energy, it is: splitting to produce hydrogen , the use of energy flows , tidal power .