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Electrokinetics

From Academic Kids

Electrokinetics is the science of electrical charges in moving substances, such as water. It studies particle motion which is the direct result of applied electric fields.

Electrokinetics covers Electrophoresis, dielectrophoresis, electro-osmosis, and electrorotation.

Water electrokinetics

In October 2003, Dr. Daniel Kwok, Dr. Larry Kostiuk and two graduate students from the University of Alberta revealed a new method of generating electric power by exploiting the natural electrokinetic properties of a liquid such as ordinary tap water, by pumping fluids through tiny microchannels. This technology could provide a new power source for devices such as mobile phones or calculators which could be charged up by pumping water to high pressure.

Kwok explained how, when water travels over a surface, the ions that it is made up of "rub" against the solid, leaving the surface slightly charged. Although the power generated from a single channel is extremely small, millions of parallel channels can be used to increase the power output.

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