Bio-friendly energy storage device draws electrical power from the human body

May 23, 2017 by  
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Humans are constantly on the go, so doesn’t it make sense to harness some of that kinetic energy ? Scientists from UCLA and the University of Connecticut asked themselves that question, which eventually led to them developing an energy-storing device that can draw electrical power from the human body. The biological supercapacitor is a protein-based battery-like device capable of extracting energy from the human body. A supercapacitor is a term used to describe a high-performance electrochemical capacitor (ECs), which is similar to batteries but has a much higher power density. Supercapacitors have faster char-discharge rates, lower internal resistance, higher power density and better cycling ability than batteries. Once energy is obtained by the newly-developed energy storage device, it is then released inside an electrical circuit which looks similar to an implantable medical device. According to the paper Ultrathin Graphene – Protein Supercapacitors for Miniaturized Bioelectronics , which was published earlier this month, the supercapacitor utilizes a “harvester” that operates by using the body’s heat and movements to capture electrical charges from ions, which are found in human body fluids including blood and urine. Bleeping Computer reports , “As electrodes, the harvester uses a carbon nanomaterial called graphene, layered with modified human proteins. The electrodes collect energy from the human body , relay it to the harvester, which then stores it for later use.” Graphene sheets can be drawn as thin as a few atoms, which means the incredibly thin supercapacitors could potentially serve as alternatives to batteries. Related: Researchers close in on world’s first 100% self-charging lithium-ion battery Most importantly, the supercapacitors are bio-friendly , as they are made with natural materials. Graphene is composed of carbon, whereas current implantable medical devices are powered by classic batteries that contain toxic materials. Because the new device is thinner than a human hair, it is more flexible than traditional batteries, as well. This technology could have far-reaching implications for the medical industry. Researchers believe that an implantable medical device using a supercapacitor could last a lifetime. In result, patients wouldn’t need to go through operations at regular intervals to replace batteries – one of the main complications with implantable medical devices. In addition to being used with pacemakers, the new energy device could be paired with devices that stimulate other organs, such as the brain, stomach and/or bladder. + UCLA Via Bleeping Computer Images via Islam Mosa/University of Connecticut and Maher El-Kady/UCLA , Pixabay

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Bio-friendly energy storage device draws electrical power from the human body

American fern inspires groundbreaking new solar storage solution

April 3, 2017 by  
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Energy storage has been a leading obstacle to widespread adoption of solar energy , but that may be about to change. A new nature-inspired electrode developed by two scientists at RMIT University in Australia could hold the key to drastically improved storage. Their electrode, which is based on patterns in the western swordfern, could boost the capacity of storage technologies by a staggering 3,000 percent. The groundbreaking electrode is made with graphene , and according to the university, could open the door to flexible, thin solar capture and storage technology. This would allow us to place a thin film on smartphones, cars, or buildings – enabling them to power themselves with solar energy. Related: Pocket-sized HeLi-on charger uses flexible, printed solar cells to power your phone The two researchers found inspiration for their prototype in the veins of the Polystichum munitum , a native western North American fern. Researcher Min Gu said in a statement, “The leaves of the western swordfern are densely crammed with veins, making them extremely efficient for storing energy and transporting water around the plant. Our electrode is based on these fractal shapes – which are self-replicating, like the mini structures within snowflakes – and we’ve used this naturally efficient design to improve solar energy storage at a nano level.” The electrode could be combined with supercapacitors , which have been combined with solar already but haven’t been widely utilized for storage due to limited capacity. But the scientists’ prototype can increase their capacity 30 times greater than current limits, according to Gu. The journal Scientific Reports published the research online the end of March. Paper lead author Litty Thekkekara said by using their electrode with a solar cell, we could develop flexible thin film solar, replacing the rigid, bulky solar cells that are limited in use. Smartphone batteries would become a thing of the past, and hybrid cars wouldn’t need charging stations, if scientists could build on this research to develop thin film solar. Via RMIT University Images via RMIT University

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New super batteries could charge phones in seconds and electric cars in minutes

December 7, 2016 by  
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A scientific breakthrough at the University of Surrey could completely change how we charge our devices. Researchers developed a new material that could be used to create supercapacitors 1,000 to 10,000 times more powerful than conventional batteries . The new super batteries would also be safer, faster charging, more efficient, and greener. The breakthrough is made possible by a special type of polymer that is, surprisingly enough, adapted from the principles used to make soft contact lenses. Supercapacitors have long been considered a superior alternative to batteries – able to charge and discharge energy incredibly quickly. However, until now, the materials used for these devices have had a poor energy density that limited their usefulness. This new, denser polymer could change all that. This groundbreaking new technology could allow electric cars to finally become competitive with conventional vehicles. Cars equipped with the new supercapacitors could be charged in minutes, taking no longer than the time it takes to fill a normal vehicle with gasoline. It could also completely transform our household devices and appliances, allowing phones and laptops to charge in mere seconds. Related: MIT’s new carbon-free supercapacitor could revolutionize the way we store power The development seems to confirm what Elon Musk has been predicting for years : that supercapacitors are likely the future of electric transportation. With this new breakthrough, it’s only a matter of time before faster-charging EVs capable of traveling far longer distances hit the market. Via The Daily Mail Images via Myrtle Beach TheDigitel and Pixabay

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New super batteries could charge phones in seconds and electric cars in minutes

MIT’s new carbon-free supercapacitor could revolutionize the way we store power

October 13, 2016 by  
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Finding ways to store clean energy is one of the largest challenges green entrepreneurs and innovators face today. A team led by MIT researchers developed a new supercapacitor that could revolutionize the way electric vehicles , for example, store power. The MIT supercapacitor, made without conducive carbon , even has the potential to ” deliver more power .” Past supercapacitors were all made with carbon, which required “high temperatures and harsh chemicals to produce,” according to MIT News. The main innovation by the team of five MIT scientists and one Argonne National Laboratory scientist is the use of new materials, metal organic frameworks (MOFs). It was thought MOFs couldn’t conduct electricity , but the team discovered “highly electrically conducive MOFs” in the lab. Related: New graphene super batteries charge up in seconds and last virtually forever MOFs that can conduct electricity are beneficial for supercapacitors because they have an “extraordinarily large surface area for their size,” more than carbon materials possess. As supercapacitor performance is dependent on surface area, electrically conducive MOFs could be the perfect material to utilize in such devices. Plus, MOFs “can be made under much less harsh conditions” than carbon. This research is important because it could allow electric vehicles, for example, to be even more environmentally friendly and receive more power. The MIT team says their supercapacitors could also be used for grid-scale storage and “could play an important role in making renewable energy sources practical for widespread deployment.” The MIT supercapacitors stand up well against existing capacitors in several areas, such as how many “charge/discharge cycles” they can go through: they lost not even 10 percent performance “after 10,000 cycles,” a statistic similar to existing supercapacitors. The journal Nature Materials published the team’s research online this week. Chemistry professor at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium described the MIT research as “very significant, from both a scientific and applications point of view.” MOFs have many other potential applications, such as in self-shading windows . Via MIT News and ZDNet Images via Melanie Gonick/MIT and Paul Wilkinson on Flickr

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New graphene super batteries charge up in seconds and last virtually forever

July 25, 2016 by  
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With the aid of one of the strongest materials on Earth, a researcher at Australia’s Swinburne University has created a battery that charges up super fast and can be used over and over and over again, without losing efficiency. Researcher Han Lin developed the battery using a form of carbon called graphene , which is commonly heralded as one of the strongest materials on the planet. The new supercapacitor addresses many of the shortcomings of traditional lithium ion batteries, beating them in charging time, lifespan, and also environmental impact. Researchers around the globe have worked on expanding the capabilities of supercapacitors for many years, but they are typically limited in storage capacity. Han overcame this problem by adding sheets of graphene , which have a large surface area for energy storage due to the material’s honeycomb structure. The material is also strong and flexible at the same time. The researcher used a 3D printer to create the graphene sheets, resulting in a cost-effective energy storage method that could someday replace the batteries in our cell phones and electric cars. Related: Melbourne’s Advanced Technologies Centre by H2O Architects looks like a gigantic LEGO brick The new supercapacitor ’s ultra-quick charging time—just seconds compared to the minutes or hours needed by a lithium-based battery—is its primary selling point, as it eliminates the inconvenience of long charging times. The graphene-enhanced battery also costs less than a traditional lithium ion battery over the course of its lifetime, due to its unique ability to withstand more recharges without losing strength. Han presented his new supercapacitor at Fresh Science Victoria 2016 earlier this year. + Swinburne University Via Phys.org Images via Fresh Science and Wikipedia 1 2

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An Ordinary Cotton T-Shirt Could Someday Charge Your Cellphone

July 8, 2012 by  
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Photo by  Shutterstock Researchers at the University of South Carolina have developed a technique to turn an ordinary cotton t-shirt into a supercapacitor. The team, led by  Xiaodong Li , a professor of mechanical engineering, and  Lihong Bao , a postdoctoral associate, soaked the shirt in fluoride solution and baked it at high temperatures, which converted the cellulose fibers into activated carbon while the material to flex without breaking. Li expects that the technique could enable us to charge portable electronic devices like cell phones. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cellphones , Clothes , clothing , ecouterre , energy-harvesting clothing , gadgets , human-powered clothing , mobile devices , renewable energy , supercapacitor , wearable technology

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An Ordinary Cotton T-Shirt Could Someday Charge Your Cellphone

Genius Unveils World’s First Battery-Free Wireless Mouse

January 24, 2012 by  
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Genius just took a big step forward for computer peripherals by launching the world’s first wireless battery-free mouse . The mighty mouse eschews wasteful AAAs and heavier lithium-ion batteries in favor of an electric double-layer ultracapacitor that requires just a quick 3 minute charge each day. The Genius DX-Eco runs on a 2.4 Ghz connection, is rated to last for 100,000 charges, and is expected to hit store shelves soon at a price point of $39.99. + Genius Via Tech2 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: battery-free wireless mouse , clean tech , clean technology , electric double-layer capacitor , genius dx-eco , green design , green technology , Greener Gadgets , supercapacitor , sustainable design , ultracapacitor , wireless mouse

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Genius Unveils World’s First Battery-Free Wireless Mouse

Genius Unveils World’s First Battery-Free Wireless Mouse

January 24, 2012 by  
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Genius just took a big step forward for computer peripherals by launching the world’s first wireless battery-free mouse . The mighty mouse eschews wasteful AAAs and heavier lithium-ion batteries in favor of an electric double-layer ultracapacitor that requires just a quick 3 minute charge each day. The Genius DX-Eco runs on a 2.4 Ghz connection, is rated to last for 100,000 charges, and is expected to hit store shelves soon at a price point of $39.99. + Genius Via Tech2 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: battery-free wireless mouse , clean tech , clean technology , electric double-layer capacitor , genius dx-eco , green design , green technology , Greener Gadgets , supercapacitor , sustainable design , ultracapacitor , wireless mouse

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Genius Unveils World’s First Battery-Free Wireless Mouse

Masterworks Wood & Design Salvages City Trees to Make Beautiful Wooden Bicycles

January 24, 2012 by  
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There are plenty of companies that handcraft custom bicycles, but none do it quite like Masterworks Wood and Design . While most bikes are made of metal and plastic, Masterworks creates rides with wood salvaged from condemned or dying city trees in Bay Area communities. The use of wood to make a bike is interesting in itself, but its Masterworks artful sculpting and beautiful designs that make these rides true pieces of art. Read the rest of Masterworks Wood & Design Salvages City Trees to Make Beautiful Wooden Bicycles Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bay area green companies , green transportation , hand crafted bicycles , masterworks wood and design , Masterworks Wooden Bikes , salvaged trees , salvaged wood , wooden bicycles , wooden bikes

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Graphene Supercapacitor Breakthrough Offers Energy Density Comparable to NiMH Battery!

November 29, 2010 by  
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Photo: Wikipedia , CC But With all the Advantages of Supercapacitors As you can see above, graphene is a one-atom thick sheet of carbon atoms, very similar to carbon nanotubes , except for the “tube” part. This wonder-material has very interesting electrical properties that have allowed researchers to create a graphene-based supercapacitor that exhibits a “specific energy density of 85.6 Wh/kg at room temperature and 136 Wh/kg at 80 … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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