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Method and apparatus for generating power from voltage gradients at sediment-water interfaces

United States Patent

6,913,854
July 5, 2005
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Continuous Sustainable Power Supply
A method and apparatus for generating power from voltage gradients at sediment-water interfaces or within stratified euxinic water-columns is provided. Natural voltage gradients typically exist at and about sediment-water interfaces or in isolated water bodies. One electrode (anode) is positioned in the sediment or water just below the redox boundary and the other electrode (cathode) is positioned in the water above the redox boundary over the first electrode. The anode is lower in voltage than the cathode. Current will flow when the electrodes are connected through a load, and near-perpetual generating of worthwhile power may be sustained by the net oxidation of organic matter catalyzed by microorganisms.
Alberte; Randall (Falmouth, ME), Bright; Harold J. (Arlington, VA), Reimers; Clare (Philomath, OR), Tender; Leonard M. (Bethesda, MD)
Rutgers, The State University of NJ (New Brunswick, NJ), The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy (Washington, DC)
10/ 148,104
September 17, 2002
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS The present invention has been made under the contract with DARPA/ONR, Contract No. N00014-98-1-0690 and the government may have certain rights to the subject invention.