Energy Harvesting from Salt in Seawater: A New Source of Graphene-enabled Power

Lead Participant: Paragraf Ltd

Abstract

"This project aims to demonstrate a completely new energy harvesting technology based on the wonder material graphene, exploiting the as yet unlocked electronic energy stored within salt in seawater.

While many energy harvesting solutions exist already (solar, thermoelectric, piezoelectric, etc.), none are capable of generating power directly from charged fluids such as seawater, and very few are capable of operating and thriving in the harsh conditions typically found at sea. Our proprietary technology is based on functionalised graphene which capitalises on the tremendous mechanical strength inherent to graphene (and thus its ability to withstand harsh environments) to extract ionic charge from the sea. Devices such as those which will be developed here can be exploited in many applications, such as being attached to any sea vessel (buoys, boats, oil platforms, etc.) to charge battery packs or directly energise low power electronic devices. We are in a strong position to exploit major commercial outcomes of this feasibility study, due to links already made within Cambridge and in the broader UK community.Paragraf's 9 month £99,918 feasibility study will develop a new way of generating electricity from seawater by developing and exploiting the principal properties of graphene. It responds to the challenge to explore the potential of bringing a completely transformative marine renewable technology to market.

No other companies or research groups are attempting to produce functionalized graphene with an electrical charge. Paragraf will significantly improve on current state of the art by using its proprietary technique to functionalize graphene with extra carriers without impacting on its electrical conductivity, to enable accelerated desorption and absorption of electrons from the ionic fluid, thus improving on previous experiments and offering the potential of real-world applications for this technology. By using its proprietary functionalised graphene, Paragraf will be able to generate much-increased voltages from ordinary saltwater, unlike previous experiments, enabling the company to do something that was impossible before and offering the potential of real world applications for this technology.

Project outputs will be applicable in multiple global export markets for marine Internet of Things, and also have potential in other markets that ionic fluids are present, for example chemical manufacturing processes or effluent disposal. The project will also improve business growth for the marine renewables supply chain, as well as for UK nanotechnology materials and device production manufacturers."

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Paragraf Ltd

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