True Strange News: Have you ever thought of human perspiration as a biofuel? A stretchable sweat-powered biofuel cell can now run an LED light.
Bioelectrochemists from France collaborated with a University of San Diego team in California who are experts in nanomachines, biosensors, and nano-bioelectronics. Together they developed a flexible conductive material consisting of carbon nanotubes, crosslinked polymers, and enzymes joined by stretchable connectors that are directly printed onto the material through screen-printing. Issue 43 of the Journal of Materials Chemistry shows that this work has been ongoing. “Wearable textile biofuel cells for powering electronics” was published in 2014 includes a supplement showing different types of textile materials on which the biofuel cells can be printed.
That published article stated:
“The textile biofuel cell utilizes physiologically produced sweat lactate as the fuel to generate electrical energy, producing up to 100 μW cm−2 at 0.34 V during in vitro experimentation, even after repeated bending stress.”
The biofuel cell developed follows deformations in the skin and produces electrical energy by oxidation of the lactate present in perspiration. Once applied to the arm, it uses a voltage booster to continuously power an LED. It is relatively simple and inexpensive to produce. The primary cost is production of enzymes to transform compounds found in sweat. Amplifying the voltage provided by the biofuel cell to power larger portable devices is the next step. #biofuel#sweatpower#biofuelcell#strangenews#altenergy#sweatasbiofuel#interestinginventions