Air-gen technology leverages humidity present in the atmosphere to offer clean energy.

FREMONT, CA: With the surge in urbanization, the energy needs of society are constantly increasing. Innovators are coming up with alternative energy solutions to address the energy requirements in a clean and efficient manner. There has been another addition in the preparations against the energy crisis. According to New Atlas, the new air-powered generator or air-gen, which includes an ultra-thin film comprising of nanowires, can leverage atmospheric water vapour to generate electricity.

The wires are less than 10 thousandths of a millimeter and are stacked between two rectangular electrodes. Although produced by a type of bacteria called Geobacter, the nanowires comprise an electrically-conductive protein. This feature enables the nanowires to generate an electric current between the two electrodes as they absorb water from the environment. Thus, the technology uses humidity to produce electricity. According to researchers, air-gen technology can even be used for driest of places such as the Sahara desert to generate electrical energy.

With the current rate of development, the technology will account for large-scale energy generation. It is already being incorporated into wall paint that can help power the homes. Air-gen systems can also be used to develop independent air-powered generators that will provide electricity off the grid. The Air-gen discovery demonstrates an unusual interdisciplinary collaboration as it involves the contribution of bacteria as well as the ability to leverage moisture from the air. Thus, researchers are also trying to advance the practical biological capabilities of Geobacter as they know that any advancement in the above capability will directly impact the energy generation efforts. Further, Air-gen systems can be a source of clean energy and inexhaustible source of energy due to the abundant amount of moisture present in the air.

Air-gen offers an opportunity for the energy sector to leverage yet another means for energy generation purposes. Apart from offering clean energy, advancements in air-gen technology will significantly ease off the burden from the present energy sources. 

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