Electricity generated from moisture in the air

Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst developed a device that uses a natural protein to create electricity literally out of thin air.

Called “Air-gen”, the air-powered generator connects electrodes to nanowires of electrically conductive protein produced by the microbe Geobacter. They are connected in such a way that electrical current is generated from the water vapor naturally present in the atmosphere.

The technology is non-polluting, renewable and low-cost. It can generate power even in areas with extremely low humidity such as the Sahara Desert. Unlike other renewable energy sources, the Air-gen does not require sunlight or wind, and even works indoors.

Currently, the technology is good enough to power electronic wearables such as health and fitness monitors and smartwatches.  In the near future, it can be applied to cell phones to eliminate periodic charging.

Ultimately, the technology could be incorporated into wall paint that could help power our homes.  Or we may have stand-alone air-powered generators that supply electricity off the grid to entire neighborhoods.

What implications could this technology have for our way of life?  Leave us a comment below.

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