Researchers from California found out how to convert sweat into energy
Researchers from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have created prototypes of fuel cells. They convert sweat releasing during physical activity into electricity. These fuel cells have the flexibility for attaching them to the skin surface, and can become the basis for wearable fuel cells.
According to the UCSD, fuel cells have a much higher power than the prototypes created by other scientific organizations and laboratories. The cells consist of gold-plated rows of electrodes having flexible connections. A layer of carbon nanotubes is applied on the electrodes surface. Necessary for the formation of energy organic substances — enzymes and silver oxide — are held on the surface of the electrodes by nanotubes.
Electricity is generated by oxidation with the help of enzymes of lactic acid, which sweat contains. The University press service said, that californian researchers have achieved the necessary density of electrodes, so the device has the required power. Samples were attached to the skin of participants of the study, while they exercising a bike. The energy was enough for the LED connected to the fuel cell to glow for four minutes.
In the future, researchers intend to improve the fuel material. In particular, they want to replace silver oxide with a light-resistant substance. The amount of acid on the skin while physical activity decreases, so researchers want to find a way to retain the energy.
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