A research team at UC San Diego has developed a thin, flexible biofuel cell that can be mounted on a finger to generate a small amount of electricity from human sweat. This biofuel cell can be a valuable energy source for wearable terminals because it can generate power not only when the wearer is exercising and sweating profusely, but also when sleeping or sitting.
The biofuel cell announced this time is in the form of a thin and flexible film that can be wrapped around a finger. The carbon electrodes absorb sweat and convert it into electrical energy. The electrode part contains an enzyme that causes a chemical reaction between lactic acid and oxygen in sweat, and a chip made of a piezoelectric material is mounted under the electrode. The film-wrapped finger can then press on the object to generate additional electrical energy.
The research team that developed a biofuel cell that can generate electricity from human sweat did not require physical pressure and a large amount of sweat during exercise, unlike other devices that generate electricity from other sweat. Therefore, it is practical and explains that it can make wearable devices more practical and convenient to incorporate into daily life.
If you wrap this film around your finger, it can be used as a power source for a wearable terminal. The research team said that the goal of this biofuel cell is to eliminate worries about batteries by allowing wearable devices to operate naturally.
Biofuel cells generate electricity from sweat from your fingertips. Fingers are one of the parts of the body that sweat the most, and since there are more than 1,000 sweat glands in the fingers, it is possible to sweat 100 to 1,000 times more than other parts of the body. The research team explained that the reason people sweat more in other areas than their fingers is because the area is not well ventilated. Conversely, because the fingers are always exposed to the air, sweat evaporates immediately. Therefore, instead of evaporating sweat, it is possible to efficiently generate electricity by using it for device power generation.
Biofuel cells can generate electricity not only from human sweat, but also from a light press. Therefore, it is possible to generate electricity by typing, clicking the mouse, playing the piano, or inputting morse signals while the biofuel cell is attached to the finger.
It is said that the biofuel cell succeeded in collecting 400 millijoules of energy after sleeping for 10 hours with one finger on the film. This is enough energy to power an electronic watch for 24 hours. In addition, as a result of typing or clicking the mouse for an hour with the film wrapped around the finger, the biofuel cell succeeded in collecting 30 millijoules of energy. If you wrap the biofuel cell film around all your fingers, you can generate 10 times the energy.
When the person wearing the film sweats or inserts the film, electrical energy is generated, but this electrical energy is stored in a small capacitor and can be supplied to the device as needed. The research team said that the goal is to make a device using biofuel cells, and they want to show that biofuel cells are not simply cool things that can generate a small amount of energy. also said it is possible. The research team is aiming to improve it further to make it more efficient and durable, and to develop a next-generation wearable system by combining it with other types of power generation devices in the future. Related information can be found here.