More than three decades ago in muddy sediments of the Potomac river was discovered an unusual “sedimentary body” belonging to the genus Geobacter. The microbe has a unique ability to form bacterial nanowires that conduct electricity.

This property, scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst used to create the device Air-gen, which literally generates energy from the air 24/7.

Air-gen consists of a thin film of protein nanowires with a thickness of 7 microns, placed between two electrodes, which are surrounded by normal air. In these conditions, the nanowire film is capable of adsorbing atmospheric water vapor, which allows the device to generate a continuous electric current that flows between two electrodes.

Previous studies have shown that gigrovata generation of energy using, for example, graphene, gives a very short electric pulses lasting no more than a few seconds.

Unlike graphene, Air-gen produces a stable voltage of about 0.5 V with a current density of about 17 microamps per square centimeter. A set of several such devices will allow you to charge small gadgets – and you do not need anything other than normal air (Air-gen is able to work even in the Sahara desert).
Source — Nature