MESA+ University of Twente
The BIOS Lab-on-a-chip group

Energy from streaming potential using nanotechnology – 2

Energy from streaming potential using nanotechnology – 2

Open position

This Ph.D. project aims at the development of methods and devices to produce electrochemical energy from streaming water. A streaming potential and a streaming current are generated when liquid water is pumped through a porous medium. Recent theoretical work has indicated that very high conversion efficiencies from the mechanical to the electrical domain can be obtained from this process. In order to obtain such efficiencies, a physicochemical model must be developed to describe the mechanism of streaming potential generation in the devices proposed, to interpret and guide experiments. The surface chemistry will also be an object of investigation, and surface modifications will be developed that can lead to a decrease of surface flow resistance by so-called liquid slip.

Use of the streaming potential represents a sustainable way of generating energy, producing no CO2. In this project we hope to couple the generation of electricity to the in-situ generation of hydrogen in one process, thereby increasing efficiency as well as providing energy in an alternative storable form. Hydrogen is seen as a useful alternative energy carrier, and a hydrogen-based society can be a viable sustainable alternative for the present day fossil energy-based society.

Two Ph.D. students are appointed on this project. The Ph.D. student in this project will put an emphasis on the chemical aspects of the project such as surface modification, and also work on the modeling and the development of theoretical understanding