After the amazing discovery that human tears can create electricity from earlier this year, the researchers at the University’s Bernal Institute conducted yet another research. This time, they discovered that sustainable biomaterials mostly found inside forests might soon power our mobile devices and motion detectors in both real world and the virtual one. The journal Nature Materials recently published this interesting study.
According to the discoveries of the team of experts, the biomolecule called glycine plays the most important role. It seems that when squeezed, it releases electricity that’s enough to power certain electrical devices. And it’s all done in a way that protects the environment and that is economically viable. The simple amino acid called glycine exists in all forest residues and what’s even more interesting is that it can be produced at a cost of less than 1% of the cost of the piezoelectric materials we currently use.
Forest residue might have unexpected benefits
According to Sarah Guerin, the lead author of this study, it’s a fascinating and exciting thing how such a small molecule is able to produce such a large amount of electricity. In order to came up with these results, the team of experts created some computer models. They wanted to see how various crystals would respond when it came to electrical capacity. Glycine was the clear winner out of them all.
The team managed to grow long and narrow glycine crystals and put them in alcohol. By tapping them, they successfully produced electricity. Right now, the experts are producing some predictive models that have the purpose of saving years of lab work that might not always be successful.
The experts also reportedly have a patent that is currently pending. With it, they can open doorways when it comes to biodegradable power generation. Also, this can help with the creation of devices that can detect diseases and drug pumps that are physiologically controlled.
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