Researchers at Brazil’s University of Campinas are finding a way to harness electricity from the atmosphere. Led by Professor Fernando Galembeck, the study holds the potential to convert electricity from the atmosphere into an alternative energy source for the future. The team is calling this new clean energy source “hygroelectricity,” which means humidity electricity. They performed a lab experiment that showed that tiny particles of silica and aluminum phosphate became negatively and positively charged when circulated in highly humid air.
The team claims that water in the atmosphere is capable of accumulating electrical charges and transferring them to other materials that are in its contact. They have come up with the idea of collectors that gather energy from humid air. These collectors will not only capture atmospheric electricity, but will also prevent lightning strikes. Presently, the UC scientists are experimenting with a number of metals to check which one is capable of capturing atmospheric electricity more efficiently.