Bringing science and development together through news and analysis

  • Tapping hot springs to bring electricity to the poor

Shares

Millions of the world's poorest people lack electricity but some live near natural heat sources such as geysers and hot springs that could be tapped to power generators.

Efforts to generate electricity from natural heat sources have so far been ineffective. But now a US-based chemist called Roman Boulatov has developed a device that could change all that, reports Robert Service in Science.

Boulatov's invention is a cheap fuel cell that can be recharged using freely available heat that drives an electric current within the cell.

He says that several dozen of the cells in an array could power simple machines such as telephones, water purifiers and refrigerators — which could in turn begin to help millions climb out of poverty.

Independent experts agree that it could be an ideal solution in developing countries. The device was unveiled at last month's meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Link to full article in Science

Republish
We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.