There is a possibility that green energy advocates might turn blue because a new membrane was discovered which could unlock “blue energy” that makes use of chemical differences between saltwater and freshwater to generate electricity. When the researchers find a way to scale the postage stamp–size membrane to an affordable scale then it will provide carbon-free power to people residing in the coastal nations. The intersection between an ocean and a river has the potential to produce almost 2.6 terawatts of electricity. Widespread adoption was prevented due to the high cost involved and there are several ways to power from this mix.
Salts are composed of ions and blue energy relies on that because the negative and positive charges attract each other and bind the ions. French researchers in 2013 made a membrane out of a ceramic film of silicon nitride this was commonly industries for cutting tools, electronics, and other uses. The plasma beam was used to etch away some materials present on the top and bottom part of the membrane to make sure that the tubes remain open on both sides. When the researchers separated saltwater and freshwater by placing the membrane in a small vessel, it produced significantly more power than the previous experiments.