(Oct. 2003) Water batteries, a non-polluting form of electricity, could some day power microelectronic devices.
Researchers Daniel Kwok and Larry Kostiuk in the mechanical engineering department at the University of Edmonton
in Canada lighted a tiny bulb by squeezing a syringe of ordinary tap water through a glass ‘filter’ having microscopic-size holes.
Power was produced by pushing water through 450,000 holes in a small, common glass disc. Metal electrodes were attached at either end of the device; a wire was connected to the electrodes which served as a pathway for the current. Although a 30 cm column of water will only produce one to two microAmps, millions of parallel channels could be used to increase the output of power. For a complete technical description of this fundamental research, see the October 20th edition of the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
published by the London-based Institute of Physics