Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, and Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST), South Korea, together have developed “ferromagnetic nanocomposites”. These nanocomposites will be utilized as a positive triboelectric layer in triboelectric nano-generator (TENG). The nano-generator is suitable to devise applications to harvest biomechanical energy from breathing (inhale and exhale) during standing, sitting, and bending positions. This is being considered as a significant step towards eco-friendly substitutes of the conventional sources of energy
“The results confirm the exploitation of ferromagnetic nanocomposites as positive triboelectric layers and the extension of triboelectric series. Furthermore, considering the large change in the magnetic properties of the nanocomposite upon applying the magnetic field may improve the TENG power output performance, which is currently under investigation for further improvement,” said Perumal Alagarsamy, department of Physics, IIT Guwahati.
Biochemical energy is manipulated by living organisms to construct the materials that their body requires for survival. This type of energy is generally stored in the form of glucose, sucrose, cellulose, carbohydrates, glucose, and proteins. The photosynthetic mechanisms allow plants and microorganisms to produce these materials. We have an abundance of biochemical energy around us.
Energy conversion devices, such as nano-generators, are used to harvest idle energy from wind, water, and biomechanical sources. Based on their functionality, electromagnetics, piezoelectrics, pyroelectrics, triboelectric, etc., can be categorized into bio-robotics, defense, wearable electronics, micro-electro-mechanical systems, nano-electro-mechanical systems, etc.
Out of these systems, the triboelectric nanogenerator has emerged as an eco-friendly energy harvester for self-powered applications, in which triboelectrification produces surface charges when two surfaces adhering to different work functions come into contact with each other.
The batteries that are used in today’s electronic devices have a very limited scope of recycling. Batteries also come under the category of hazardous waste and are considered a threat to the eco-system. They contain substances such as sulphuric acid, mercury, nickel, cadmium, or lead, as well as other dangerous materials that can give batteries a variety of hazardous properties. This makes the development of sustainable power resources very crucial to reduce the damage being done to the environment.