A team of researchers in South Korea have a pretty exciting new idea for hydroelectricity. They figured out a way to turn the mechanical energy from flowing water into a sustainable energy source. In other words, your toilet flushes could help power your home.

It's not just toilet flushes, though. Rain water, ocean waves, river currents—this method will work pretty much anywhere there's running water. It takes advantage of a property in dieletric materials whereby they develop an electric charge when put into water. Scientists from Seoul National University and Korea Electronics Technology Institute (KETI) simply adapted a transducer to harvest the energy. The movement of a just single water droplet was enough to light a green LED using the new equipment in the lab.

Water's looking pretty good these days. It was just a few days ago that we learned how pouring saltwater over graphene generates electricity. Makes you wonder: What else can we pour water over to generate electricity? [Chemistry World]


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