Dutch and Norwegian scientists generate electricity by mixing sea and river water

EU funding: It might seem like an exercise in scientific theory
destined only for high-tech laboratories, but the creators and the
European Union (EU), which funded the Norwegian research, believe the
idea’s time might have come.

Different methods used: The two projects used different methods
to harness the electricity – the Dutch apply something called reverse
electrodialysis while the Norwegians use a kind of osmosis.

Reliance on membranes: However, both methods rely on membranes
or thin films made of special material used for chemical separation. In
the Dutch project, separation was done by membranes using an electrical
current.

Process like putting frankfurts in hot water: The Norwegian
device applied pressure to force the water through membranes. Its
inventors liken the process to making a hot dog. The skin of the
frankfurt acted as a membrane, allowing more water in than the amount
of salty water it let out. This increased the pressure inside and the
hotdog burst.

Still a long way to go: The two inventions still had a long way
to go before they could be applied commercially. The Wetsus project,
supported by a consortium of Dutch companies, had yet to be tested in a
pilot plant.

Norwegians have two small-scale plants: The Norwegian project
was more advanced. It started in the 1990s and its creators had already
installed two small-scale plants, but had yet to build a bigger
demonstration plant to boost production.

Reference: Digest of latest news reported on website of Climate
Change Secretariat of United Nations Framework on Climate Change
Control (UNFCCC). 27 December 2005. Address: PO Box 260 124, D-53153
Bonn. Germany. Phone: : (49-228) 815-1005, Fax: (49-228) 815-1999.
Email: press@unfccc.int

http://www.unfccc.int

Erisk Net, 7/1/2006

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