Lancaster University

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Lancaster Professor on UK delegation to the World Summit on Micro & Nano Technology

05/05/2011 00:00:00


Professor Andrew Richardson from the Department of Engineering has been selected as one of five UK delegates for the annual World Micromachine Summit held on the 26th and 27th April 2011. The other delegates were from Imperial College London, Southampton University and Birmingham University.

This year’s event was hosted by His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr al Qasimi, ruler of Ras al-Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates and focused on applications in renewable energy. 22 countries sent delegations this year with Germany, Italy, China, Switzerland and South America in particular reporting major investments and growth. Of specific interest was a proposal to extract electrochemical energy from the mixing of sea and fresh water (so-called “blue energy”) through the use of electro-chemical films based on nanotechnology.

Professor Buismann from Wageningen University reported on the potential to extract 2.4KJoules of energy from 1litre of fresh water when mixed with sea water. It was suggested that in Europe alone up to 90GW could be generated from 767 rivers. Professor Buismann demonstrated that electrochemical electrodes based on nanomaterials including activated carbon and polyvinylidene fluoride could have great potential in increasing the efficiency of the conversion process.

Other areas of specific interest were micro energy harvesting for low power applications, photovoltaics, fuel cells and micro combustion.