Polymer power drives tiny reactions | Science News

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


News

Polymer power drives tiny reactions

Squeezing plastic ingredient in water creates enough energy to fuel chemical work

By
5:43pm, March 12, 2012

In the quest to wring energy from every source imaginable, scientists are putting the squeeze on a common plastic ingredient. Applying force to polymers in water generates enough energy to drive chemical reactions, a team reports online March 1 in Angewandte Chemie.

The technique won’t replace large-scale energy operations, but it offers a way to harness the wisps of unused energy generated by everyday endeavors, like walking or compacting plastic bags at a recycling center. And capturing such energy could lead to cheap, clean ways to sanitize a small container of water, for example,

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content