A stretchable battery that is powered by human sweat has been introduced by the scientists of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). It is the first such innovation that runs on human perspiration.

The size of the device is 0.8 square inches and is as flat as a Band-Aid. The prototype battery runs on sweat and can discharge 20 hours of electricity from just 2 ml of sweat. At this point, it is only usable on small portable devices.

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In this battery, the power is generated with the help of printed silver flake electrodes in the presence of sweat. The device looks like a bandage of paper that is attached to a flexible sweat-absorbent cloth-like thing. This textile piece attracts electricity power from the sweat and transfers it to the battery.

This battery can be attached to smart wearable gadgets like smart bands, fits bi, arm straps, etc. These gadgets will run on Bluetooth.

To check the battery’s potential use on being incorporated in a wearable smart device, the researchers tested it with artificial sweat

“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 and at times pose a threat of explosion. We have applied to patent this technology to take it forward for commercial use,” Dr Gurunathan, a Senior Research Fellow in NTU’s School of Material Science and Engineering, said.

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About the creation of this sweat-powered battery, Gurunathan said that the battery was invented by printing ink containing silver flakes and hydrophilic poly urethane-acrylate (HPUA). This functions as the battery’s electrodes, onto a stretchable textile.

It works when the silver flakes came in contact with sweat, its chloride ions and acidity caused the flakes to clump together, increasing their ability to conduct electricity. This chemical reaction also caused an electric current to flow between the electrodes.

The study ‘Printable elastomeric electrodes with sweat-enhanced conductivity wearables’ was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Science Advances in July.