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A dryer with a surprise: scientists learned how to get electricity from wet clothes

2019-09-19T08:08:28.489Z

Indian scientists have created a special fabric from cellulose fibers and nanotubes, which generates electricity during drying. Researchers believe that their invention in the future will help, albeit in small volumes, to electrify hard-to-reach and underdeveloped areas of the country.



Scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur have created fabric from ordinary cellulose fibers and special nanotubes that, when dried in the open air, produces electricity. Researchers were inspired to create an invention by a natural process - the movement of moisture in plants, during which salt solutions are evaporated from them. This was reported by Nano Letters, the official body of the American Chemical Society.

  • Researchers were inspired to create an invention by a natural process - the movement of moisture in plants.
  • © ACS Publications

To conduct the experiment, scientists created a device that mimics a plant. It consisted of a can with an electrolyte solution and a piece of “smart” tissue threaded into a tube. The lower part of the tissue was immersed in electrolyte, and the upper part was in the air. The electrolyte from the can rose through the nanochannels and evaporated. Since the movement of an ion-saturated liquid through any channel electrifies its walls, a small potential difference was created in the device. The electrodes relieved tension from the solution in the jar and from the open part of the tissue. As a result, it was possible to obtain a voltage of about 0.7 volts.

By connecting about 40 such devices to the battery, scientists were able to get a voltage of almost 12 volts. Using this design, the researchers managed to accumulate a charge in 24 hours, which was enough to power one LED for an hour.

Scientists believe that the introduction of this technology will allow, albeit in small quantities, to provide electricity to hard-to-reach and underdeveloped parts of India, where drying clothes in the open air is widespread.

  • During the experiment, parallel and serial connections of elements were used.
  • © ACS Publications

In an interview with RT, professor of the chemical-biological cluster of ITMO University, Ekaterina Skorb, said that Indian developments as a whole are in line with today's research on non-standard methods of energy production.

“Another example of such a project is a pavement that generates electricity when people step on tiles. Such inventions do not provide much energy, but they are not intended for this. It was important for scientists to prove the viability of the concept of their work, and they succeeded, ”said Sorrow.

Source: russiart

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