Engineering 101

Video Of The Day: Biodegradable Device Is Powered By Only Touch

Many of our natural movements, like walking or tapping the keys on our keyboard, actually generate energy that mostly goes unused. A team of scientists  figured out a way to capture some of that energy and convert it into electricity so that it could be used to power mobile devices.

Portable devices are convenient for on-the-go use, but their short battery life can sometimes pose a problem. Many scientists also feel that their contribution to e-waste is damaging. According to the American Chemical Society, researchers were trying to find a way to solve both of these problems when they developed a  biodegradable nanogenerator made with DNA that could harvest the energy from natural, second-nature motions and turn them into electrical power.

The researchers constructed the nanogenerator using a flexible, biocompatible polymer film made of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVFD) and then added DNA, which has electrical properties and is biodegradable, in order to improve the material’s energy-harvesting ability.

The device was then powered with gentle tapping and lit up 22 to 55 light-emitting diodes. Watch it happen in the video below.

A device of this nature, if implemented into our mobile gadgets, “would not only untether us from wall outlets, but it would also reduce our demand on fossil-fuel-based power sources,” according to an American Chemical Society news release.

Findings were reported  in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Story via American Chemical Society.

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