What if you could generate electricity for your home or business from thin air?
This might sound like a far-fetched idea, but it is, in fact, a reality thanks to a device called Air-gen. Derek Lovely, a microbiologist, and Jun Yao, an electrical engineer, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst created this generator powered by air in an effort to generate clean energy around the clock.
Here’s how the Air-gen works: The device uses protein nanowires that a microbe known as Geobacter has produced. The Air-gen connects these electrically conductive nanowires to electrodes to produce an electrical current from naturally occurring water vapor in the air.
What’s great about the Air-gen is that is low cost, renewable, and non-polluting. In addition, this technology can easily be used to generate power in an area with low humidity, like the Sahara. Furthermore, the Air-gen offers advantages over other green energy sources, such as wind and solar. Why? Because it doesn’t require wind or sunlight. In fact, the device easily works indoors.
According to the Air-gen’s creators, the device can currently be used to provide power to small electronics. However, they plan to bring their device to a commercial scale in the near future. As a matter of fact, they are already contemplating producing an air-powered generator that supplies electricity to off-grid establishments. They are also thinking about incorporating their current technology into paint that can be applied to people’s homes to help to power them. Over time, you can expect to see more large-scale technologies that will no doubt play a major role in the production of sustainable energy long term.