The researchers – Jayapiriya US, University Researcher and Sanket Goel, Professor, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, designed two types of electronic devices – one using a modified dressing with pencil electrodes generating a power of 115 mW/m2 and another using coated carbon fabric electrode nanomaterials generating a power of 1.3 W/m2.
“Two different biopiles were made with a patch-like configuration to harvest energy from lactate present in human sweat. In the first method, pencil strokes were made on a simple bandage to create a biopile. While the lactate acts as an electrode, graphene acts as both anode and cathode,” Goel told TOI. He said that different types of enzymes are added to graphene so that they act as cathode or anode.
In the second method, the researchers used electrodes made from carbon fabric to convert sweat lactate into energy.
Goel said the energy generated can either be used directly when generated or saved and used later by using a capacitor.
The ultimate goal of these prototypes is to power wearable electronic applications such as fitness trackers, headphones, smart glasses and sensors, among others, the researchers said. “The minimum voltage required to start a fitness watch is around 1.8 V for which a network from our patch-type fuel cell can be used to provide the required voltage,” Goel added. “Using glucose to harvest energy can be useful for powering the Peacemaker Battery, a battery-operated device that sends pulses to the heart muscle to maintain proper heart rate and rhythm,” he said. added.