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Old 19th February 2020, 04:05 AM   #1
Hungry81
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Can electric E-coli give fossil fuel generators the *****?

Interesting article about bacteria that generate electricity when subjected to humidity. The study states they dont generate conductive filiments fast enough though, so there is a suggestion to introduce the relevant genes to e-coli to make the generation more efficient when trying to scale up. Suggested uses are phone and other battery operated device chargers.
Is this likely a 10-20-infinity years thing or is it feasable in a shortish term?

If they make the paint version, can I cover my arms in it and go around zapping evildoers? Or will I just give myself a shocking case of stomach flu?

https://www.sciencealert.com/scienti...n-humidity/amp

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...Zzy1bV&ampcf=1

Last edited by Hungry81; 19th February 2020 at 04:08 AM.
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Old 19th February 2020, 04:20 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Hungry81 View Post
Interesting article about bacteria that generate electricity when subjected to humidity. The study states they dont generate conductive filiments fast enough though, so there is a suggestion to introduce the relevant genes to e-coli to make the generation more efficient when trying to scale up. Suggested uses are phone and other battery operated device chargers.
Is this likely a 10-20-infinity years thing or is it feasable in a shortish term?

If they make the paint version, can I cover my arms in it and go around zapping evildoers? Or will I just give myself a shocking case of stomach flu?

https://www.sciencealert.com/scienti...n-humidity/amp

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...Zzy1bV&ampcf=1
One thought I always have when I hear something like this is "Where is the energy coming from?" If that question is not properly addressed it might as well be considered as an over-unity machine.
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Old 19th February 2020, 04:57 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by erlando View Post
One thought I always have when I hear something like this is "Where is the energy coming from?" If that question is not properly addressed it might as well be considered as an over-unity machine.
Yeah, pretty much this. I read the first article and they just say it produces a current when exposed to air. And that that's all that's needed. It seems like a perpetual motion machine to me, and as such, sorry, not real.
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Old 19th February 2020, 05:43 AM   #4
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It's quite feasible, for small devices at least. I have a bio-powered MP3 player. When it plays "Pour Some Sugar on Me" it means it.
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Old 19th February 2020, 06:12 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
It's quite feasible, for small devices at least. I have a bio-powered MP3 player. When it plays "Pour Some Sugar on Me" it means it.
There was no mention in the article I read about any fuel source. It explicitly says it requires only air. If it were feeding on sugars that could work, but it doesn't sound like it.

Also, at least as far as I could tell, the e-coli is used to manufacture the nano-wires. It didn't sound like the e-coli was even meant to be a part of the device. I may have misunderstood that though.
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Old 19th February 2020, 06:27 AM   #6
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There were a number of articles on this on my news feed yesterday, here’s one:

https://phys.org/news/2020-02-green-...-thin-air.html
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Old 19th February 2020, 07:53 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
There were a number of articles on this on my news feed yesterday, here’s one:

https://phys.org/news/2020-02-green-...-thin-air.html
over unity
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Old 19th February 2020, 09:07 AM   #8
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The energy source this is exploiting is the latent heat of humidity in the air.
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Old 19th February 2020, 09:10 AM   #9
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What RY said.
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Old 19th February 2020, 09:17 AM   #10
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Probably pay-walled for most but here is the article from Nature.


https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2010-9
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Old 19th February 2020, 09:22 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Also, at least as far as I could tell, the e-coli is used to manufacture the nano-wires. It didn't sound like the e-coli was even meant to be a part of the device. I may have misunderstood that though.

No misunderstanding, you have that right.
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Old 19th February 2020, 12:44 PM   #12
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Clearly, the energy to generate the charge comes from the folded 11th dimension of the string vibration... or something.

Like others, I'm calling BS on this until I see where that energy comes from
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Old 19th February 2020, 08:56 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
The energy source this is exploiting is the latent heat of humidity in the air.
That's interesting. So when it exploits that energy source there should be some irreversible process that occurs. Do you know what that is? I admit this isn't that clear to me.
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Old 19th February 2020, 11:55 PM   #14
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Apparently it generates power due to a humidity gradient in the thin-film that creates a diffusion of protons in the nano-wires. OK.




How the gradient is sustained I have no idea.
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Old Yesterday, 12:19 AM   #15
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So, cheetah, is it clear to you what the irreversible process is that happens here? A change in the state of the humidity gradient perhaps?
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Old Yesterday, 01:01 AM   #16
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I can see where the energy comes from. If you turn water vapour into a liquid, energy is released. This energy could be in the form of electricity. Though I do not have a clue on how they can convert this energy into electricity. It would work best with 100% humidity. As a by-product it would produce liquid water.

I predict this will work. The work was done at a good university. Though cannot say anything more.
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Old Yesterday, 01:57 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
I can see where the energy comes from. If you turn water vapour into a liquid, energy is released. This energy could be in the form of electricity. Though I do not have a clue on how they can convert this energy into electricity. It would work best with 100% humidity. As a by-product it would produce liquid water.

I predict this will work. The work was done at a good university. Though cannot say anything more.
I'm not saying that this cannot work. It may only be the reporting but it doesn't help and smells a bit like an over unity scam when the lead author is quoted saying this:

Quote:
"We are literally making electricity out of thin air," says Yao. "The Air-gen generates clean energy 24/7."
Also, it has a name already? A bit early to start the marketing don't you think?
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Old Yesterday, 02:09 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
I can see where the energy comes from. If you turn water vapour into a liquid, energy is released. This energy could be in the form of electricity. Though I do not have a clue on how they can convert this energy into electricity. It would work best with 100% humidity. As a by-product it would produce liquid water.

I predict this will work. The work was done at a good university. Though cannot say anything more.
So you'll get some sort of condensation I guess? That makes sense.
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Old Yesterday, 10:04 AM   #19
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Can't get to the Nature article right now, but it and all the articles said the mechanism was adsorption. I'm presuming that the water has to be removed and replaced. Given the very low power cited here that is a completely adequate source for the energy.

You do need something like five square meters of this stuff to get a single watt. But the material is extremely thin so it can presumably be layered to some degree. But I'm expecting that layering is limited by need to expose the surface area to humidity.
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Old Yesterday, 10:37 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
So, cheetah, is it clear to you what the irreversible process is that happens here? A change in the state of the humidity gradient perhaps?
I don't know.
It's not evaporation though, or it doesn't sound like it.
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Old Yesterday, 10:39 AM   #21
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Probably this:

Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
I can see where the energy comes from. If you turn water vapour into a liquid, energy is released. This energy could be in the form of electricity. Though I do not have a clue on how they can convert this energy into electricity. It would work best with 100% humidity. As a by-product it would produce liquid water.

I predict this will work. The work was done at a good university. Though cannot say anything more.
Something about the electrical properties of the nano-wires causing the 'proton diffusion' in line with the humidity gradient I suppose.
It almost sounds like they don't know.
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Old Yesterday, 10:50 AM   #22
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Are people just over-reacting to the unfortunate "thin-air" statement? As far as I can tell every link that includes that statement also goes on to say what the energy source is. The phenomena seems plausible and real. Only unanswered questions is can it scale up in to anything practical. ETA: That's a big one of course.
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Old Yesterday, 11:08 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
It almost sounds like they don't know.
Can't tell how serious.

You realize they don't know, right? They say so. They discovered this phenomena rather than designing it from first principles.
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Old Yesterday, 07:41 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Are people just over-reacting to the unfortunate "thin-air" statement? As far as I can tell every link that includes that statement also goes on to say what the energy source is. The phenomena seems plausible and real. Only unanswered questions is can it scale up in to anything practical. ETA: That's a big one of course.
Thanks RY. After your first post in this thread I was over my concerns that it was some sort of free energy concept, just trying to understand the mechanism a little better after that, and understand potential constraints (like if it would reach some state where the humidity gradient had leveled out and energy would have to be used to return to the original state?). I admit I don't have good understanding of adsorption.
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Old Yesterday, 08:46 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Thanks RY. After your first post in this thread I was over my concerns that it was some sort of free energy concept, just trying to understand the mechanism a little better after that, and understand potential constraints (like if it would reach some state where the humidity gradient had leveled out and energy would have to be used to return to the original state?). I admit I don't have good understanding of adsorption.
While my first post identified the energy source, I currently don't know where the entropy sink is. So I don't know what the full cycle is. Someone suggested this will have the side effect of producing liquid water. I extremely doubt that liquid water is a potential outcome of whatever cycle this is using because turning water vapor in to liquid water requires exporting a huge amount of entropy somewhere. I'm guessing the water leaves the cycle as water vapor probably by migrating to some place where it simply evaporates again.

That would mean the device would be changing the energy/entropy/temperature distribution between water and non-water molecules in the air around it. That would create a "counter" gradient in the air that eventually stops the adsorption process. The entropy sink/recharge mechanism would then be something that removes the high temperature water molecules from the air. (ETA: And re-introduces high temperature non-water molecules)

Not sure I've thought that through properly yet.

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Old Yesterday, 09:50 PM   #26
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I think that there is some confusion over the mechanism perhaps some people are confusing aDsorption with aBsorption?

The discoverers knew that nanowire were capable of transmitting electrical current.
They also knew that they could produce protein-based nanowire.

They were jointly working on whether they could replace silicon-based nanowire with protein-based nanowire and whether they would be viable in electronics.
It was while they were testing a device created from protein nanowire that they discovered that protein nanowire was also capable of creating a current when arranged in their device.

The Eureka moment was the realisation that water aDsorption was the mechanism for creating a voltage gradient across the device.

https://www.diffen.com/difference/Ab..._vs_Adsorption
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Old Yesterday, 09:56 PM   #27
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What confusion between those two do you see?
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Old Yesterday, 10:19 PM   #28
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A number of posts were discussing heat, steam and evaporation etc.
Which is not the mechanism that this “generator” uses.
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Old Yesterday, 11:03 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
A number of posts were discussing heat, steam and evaporation etc.
Which is not the mechanism that this “generator” uses.
Exactly, but it is also why I am completely skeptical. I am well aware of the difference between adsorb and absorb. However, this is the thing that has my "overunity scam alert" siren screaming at level 10.

At best it should be a one time effect until all the surfaces are coated. Or until whatever energy source is being used gets used. Then what? What could possibly make this continuous?

I don't want handwaving. I want a detailed explanation backed with repeatable evidence.

What has been posted here on this thread is a long long way from that so far.

Until then I am still going with my first observation... over-unity!
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