Nav: Home

Movement of a liquid droplet generates over 5 volts of electricity

February 13, 2020

Energy harvesting, a technology to transform small quantities of naturally occurring energy (e.g. light, heat and vibration) into electricity, is gaining attention as a method to power the Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This technology helps reduce environmental impacts and has a potential to power electronic devices in a stable and long-term manner, unlike batteries that need recharging or replacing.

Researchers at Nagoya University and Kyushu University focused on energy from the tiny movement of liquid and developed a device that generates over 5 volts of electricity directly from the movement of a liquid droplet. This device, made of flexible thin films, generates electricity when drops of water slide down on its upper surface. This technology is expected to be applied to self-powered devices used in liquids, including sensors monitoring the quality of wastewater from factories. Their findings have been published in the journal Nano Energy.

Energy generated from the tiny flow of liquid exists in various environments, such as inside of factory pipes, and in micro-fluid devices, but this kind of energy has not been used effectively so far. It has been shown that a graphene sheet can generate electricity from the liquid movement across its surface. However, its output voltage is limited to about 0.1 volt, which is not enough to drive electronic devices.

The research group, consisting of Nagoya University's Adha Sukma Aji, Ryohei Nishi, and Yutaka Ohno and Kyushu University's Hiroki Ago, has demonstrated that using molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) instead of graphene as the active material in the generator makes it possible to generate over 5 volts of electricity from a liquid droplet.

"To use MoS2 for the generator, it was necessary to form a large-area single-layer MoS2 film on a plastic film. With conventional methods, however, it was difficult to grow MoS2 uniformly on a large-area substrate," says Professor Ohno of the Institute of Materials and Systems for Sustainability at Nagoya University. "In our study, we succeeded in fabricating this form of MoS2 film by means of chemical vapor deposition using a sapphire substrate with molybdenum oxide (MoO3) and sulphur powders. We also used a polystyrene film as a bearing material for the MoS2 film, so that we were able to transfer the synthesized MoS2 film to the surface of the plastic film quite easily."

The newly developed generator is flexible enough to be installed on the curved inner surface of plumbing, and is thus expected to be used to power IoT devices used in liquids, such as self-powered rain gauges and acid rain monitors, as well as water quality sensors that can generate power from industrial wastewater while monitoring it.

Professor Ohno says, "Our MoS2 nanogenerator is able to harvest energy from multiple forms of liquid motion, including droplets, spraying, and sea waves. From a broader perspective, this device could also be used in applications involving hydrodynamics, such as generating electricity from rainwater and waterfalls."
-end-
The article, "High output voltage generation of over 5 V from liquid motion on single-layer MoS2," was published online in the journal Nano Energy on December 6, 2019 at DOI: 10.1016/j.nanoen.2019.104370.

This work was supported by the Japan Science and Technology Agency CREST program (JPMJCR16Q2).

For more information, contact:

Prof. Yutaka Ohno
Center for Integrated Research of Future Electronics (CIRFE),
Institute of Materials and Systems for Sustainability (IMaSS),
Nagoya University
E-mail: yohno@nagoya-u.jp

About Nagoya University

Nagoya University has a history of about 150 years, with its roots in a temporary medical school and hospital established in 1871, and was formally instituted as the last Imperial University of Japan in 1939. Although modest in size compared to the largest universities in Japan, Nagoya University has been pursuing excellence since its founding. Six of the 18 Japanese Nobel Prize-winners since 2000 did all or part of their Nobel Prize-winning work at Nagoya University: four in Physics - Toshihide Maskawa and Makoto Kobayashi in 2008, and Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano in 2014; and two in Chemistry - Ryoji Noyori in 2001 and Osamu Shimomura in 2008. In mathematics, Shigefumi Mori did his Fields Medal-winning work at the University. A number of other important discoveries have also been made at the University, including the Okazaki DNA Fragments by Reiji and Tsuneko Okazaki in the 1960s; and depletion forces by Sho Asakura and Fumio Oosawa in 1954.

Nagoya University

Related Wastewater Articles:

Using wastewater to monitor COVID-19
A recent review paper from an international research group shows how wastewater could provide a useful tool for monitoring COVID-19 and highlights the further research needed to develop this as a viable method for tracking virus outbreaks.
Rice engineers: Make wastewater drinkable again
Delivering water to city dwellers can become far more efficient, according to Rice University researchers who say it should involve a healthy level of recycled wastewater.
Novel coronavirus detected, monitored in wastewater
A new approach to monitoring the novel coronavirus, (as well as other dangerous pathogens and chemical agents), is being developed and refined.
Wastewater test could provide early warning of COVID-19
Researchers at Cranfield University are working on a new test to detect SARS-CoV-2 in the wastewater of communities infected with the virus.
HKU team develops new wastewater treatment process
A University of Hong Kong research team has developed a novel wastewater treatment system that can effectively remove conventional pollutants, and recover valuable resources such as phosphorus and organic materials.
Treating wastewater with ozone could convert pharmaceuticals into toxic compounds
With water scarcity intensifying, wastewater treatment and reuse are gaining popularity.
Polluted wastewater in the forecast? Try a solar umbrella
Evaporation ponds, commonly used in many industries to manage wastewater, can occupy a large footprint and often pose risks to birds and other wildlife, yet they're an economical way to deal with contaminated water.
Wastewater leak in West Texas revealed
Geophysicists at SMU say that evidence of leak occurring in a West Texas wastewater disposal well between 2007 and 2011 should raise concerns about the current potential for contaminated groundwater and damage to surrounding infrastructure.
Mapping international drug use by looking at wastewater
Wastewater-based epidemiology is a rapidly developing scientific discipline with the potential for monitoring close to real-time, population-level trends in illicit drug use.
Predicting earthquake hazards from wastewater injection
ASU-led geoscientists develop a method to forecast seismic hazards caused by the disposal of wastewater after oil and gas production.
More Wastewater News and Wastewater Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Meditations on Loneliness
Original broadcast date: April 24, 2020. We're a social species now living in isolation. But loneliness was a problem well before this era of social distancing. This hour, TED speakers explore how we can live and make peace with loneliness. Guests on the show include author and illustrator Jonny Sun, psychologist Susan Pinker, architect Grace Kim, and writer Suleika Jaouad.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#565 The Great Wide Indoors
We're all spending a bit more time indoors this summer than we probably figured. But did you ever stop to think about why the places we live and work as designed the way they are? And how they could be designed better? We're talking with Emily Anthes about her new book "The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of how Buildings Shape our Behavior, Health and Happiness".
Now Playing: Radiolab

The Third. A TED Talk.
Jad gives a TED talk about his life as a journalist and how Radiolab has evolved over the years. Here's how TED described it:How do you end a story? Host of Radiolab Jad Abumrad tells how his search for an answer led him home to the mountains of Tennessee, where he met an unexpected teacher: Dolly Parton.Jad Nicholas Abumrad is a Lebanese-American radio host, composer and producer. He is the founder of the syndicated public radio program Radiolab, which is broadcast on over 600 radio stations nationwide and is downloaded more than 120 million times a year as a podcast. He also created More Perfect, a podcast that tells the stories behind the Supreme Court's most famous decisions. And most recently, Dolly Parton's America, a nine-episode podcast exploring the life and times of the iconic country music star. Abumrad has received three Peabody Awards and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2011.