Dune Fans! Power Your Devices With Sweaty Shirts
Dune fans will love the fabric battery that can power wearables from the bacteria in sweat, created by electrical engineer Seokheun Choi.
Choi's bacteria-powered batteries rely on what are known as microbial fuel cells (MFCs). These types of cells use bacteria to trigger reduction/oxidation reactions, which swap electrons between molecules to generate electricity. In his previous work, he has tapped dirty water and saliva for this purpose, and for his latest trick is turning to the bacterial cells found in human sweat.
Choi investigated the possibilities by building his MFCs into a twistable, stretchable textile-based battery that uses the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a catalyst. The resulting device has a maximum power output of 6.4 µW cm−2, which is similar to his other flexible, paper-based MFCs. It also demonstrates stable, lasting performance even when bent out of shape repeatedly.
Fans of Frank Herbert's monsterpiece novel Dune will recall the stillsuit which uses both pumps in the boots and chest pads to harvest power from breathing. And, as fans know, Fremen stink to high heaven in enclosed spaces, which means there must be plenty of sweat-based bacteria to work with!
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