Electricity generation from Breath

A simulated respiration device for harvesting energy
A simulated respiration device for harvesting energy

Scientists have developed a device that has the ability of producing electricity from human breath.

This device is thought to be useful in operation theatres, where there is a need for battery in medical devices.

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Xudong Wang, lead researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has said, ‘We’ve been working on harvesting nano- and micro-scale mechanical energy from human activities for several years, for powering bioimplantable devices and even personal electronics,’

Scientists have used micrometre-sized polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) microbelts in the device to change the low speed air flow i.e. about 2m/s into energy. They maintained the thickness of PVDF at an optimized level with the use of ion etching technique.

Scientists predict theoretically the thickness, speed of air flow and electrical output and characterized them experimentally in their device. This small electricity generator has the ability of producing sufficient energy for tiny electronic devices.


Sun, C. et. al. (2011). PVDF microbelts for harvesting energy from respiration. Energy and Environmental Science, DOI: 10.1039/C1EE02241E


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