The prototype battery consists of printed silver flake electrodes that generate electricity in the presence of sweat. Measuring 2 cm by 2 cm and as flat as a small paper bandage, the battery is affixed to a flexible and sweat absorbent textile that is stretchable and attachable to wearable devices, like watches, wrist bands or arm straps.
To demonstrate its potential use when it becomes incorporated in wearable biosensors and other electronic devices, the team of scientists tested their device with artificial human sweat.
In a separate trial, the team reported that an individual wearing the battery around their wrist and cycling on a stationary bicycle for 30 minutes was able to generate a voltage of 4.2 V and output power of 3.9 mW that was sufficient to power a commercial temperature sensor device and send the data continuously to a smartphone via Bluetooth.
The battery does not contain heavy metals or toxic chemicals unlike conventional batteries, which are often built using unsustainable materials that are harmful to the environment. Serving as a more sustainable alternative that could cut down on harmful electronic waste, the development of the sweat-powered battery reflects NTU’s commitment to find solutions to mitigate our impact on the environment. This is one of the four humanity’s grand challenges that NTU seeks to address under the NTU 2025 strategic plan.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction