The Scotsman

Sweat could power new gadgets

- By LUCINDA CAMERON

A new generation of wearable devices could be powered by human sweat instead of convention­al batteries, scientists have said.

Engineers at the University of Glasgow have developed a new type of flexible supercapac­itor, which stores energy, replacing the electrolyt­es found in convention­al batteries with sweat. It can be fully charged with as little as 20 microlitre­s of fluid and is robust enough to survive 4,000 cycles of the types of flexes and bends it might encounter in use. The researcher­s tested their technology by having volunteers run while wearing a 2cm by 2cm cell version of the device.

The research was led by Professor Ravinder Dahiya, based at the University of Glasgow’s

James Watt School of Engineerin­g.

He said: “Convention­al batteries are cheaper and more plentiful than ever before but they are often built using unsustaina­ble materials which are harmful to the environmen­t. What we’ve been able to do for the first time is show that human sweat provides a real opportunit­y to do away with those toxic materials entirely.”

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