University of California researchers have developed a device that can turn the touch of a finger into a source energy Through the sweat generated by the body. Known as a biofuel cell (BFC), the tool produces eight kilowatt-hours of energy per cm² in a 10-hour batch.
The size of the device is about 1 cm², it has a flexible material and can be used for a long time. It looks like a piece of foam, which acts as an electrode, and is attached to your finger. Its formula includes a carbon nanotube and hydrogel to improve sweat absorption, and the tape generates energy while the user sweats or is stressed.
For those responsible for the gadget, it represents an important step towards self-sustaining wearable electronics. “We wanted to create a device that adapts to everyday activity. You can forget about it completely and go to sleep or work, type, and still continue to generate energy,” said the institution’s professor of nanoengineering, Joseph Wang, in an article for Cell Press.
This is the main difference between BFC, according to the researchers. It changes the bioenergy harvesting paradigm because you don’t need to exercise, like running or riding a bike, to get energy.
“Our goal is to make this device practical,” said study engineer and co-author Lu Yin, who also justified the choice of fingertips as a storage source.
“We feel more sweat on other parts of the body because these points are not very well ventilated. On the other hand, your fingertips are always exposed to air, so the sweat evaporates when it comes out. Instead of letting it evaporate, we use our devices to collect that sweat and generate energy,” the engineer said.
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