Scientists seem to have found a way to generate electricity from human blood. We have managed to harness power from a number of sources to generate electricity over the years: from water (hydroelectric) to the sun (solar power).
Water, especially, has been used to generate electricity for a long time. Flowing water is easily the handiest source of energy that we have in the world currently. Scientists want to apply the concept of harnessing energy from water to blood, which is, of course, constantly flowing within humans.
Chinese scientists announced that they had developed a device to do just that this year. Back in 2011, Swiss researchers managed to shrink down a hydroelectric turbine to the size of a blood vessel and demonstrated its ability to produce electricity in a tube designed to mimic a human artery.
In that particular experience, however, all the moving pieces had the potential to produce blood clots. Researchers at the Laboratory of Advanced Materials at Fudan University in China seem to have worked out some of those kinks.
New Solution For Generating Electricity From Human Blood
The researchers came up with a solution that has no moving parts which they called a “fluidic nanogenerator fibre”, or FFNG. It is a long fibre less than a millimetre thick that generates power simply from the movement of blood.
To create it, the researchers wrapped a polymer core with carbon nanotubes (impossibly thin structures of carbon atoms that conduct electricity better than copper). After that, they connected the FFNG to electrodes and immersed it in flowing water. It generated electricity with a power conversion efficiency of up to 23.3 percent. The most efficient solar panels are rated at around 22.5 percent efficiency, with most in the range of 14–16 percent, according to the solar-panel marketplace EnergySage.
Some possible applications of this tech when it is ready have been suggested such as; powering a pacemaker or a diabetic blood-glucose tester. The device may also just use other materials that do not involve blood. There is still a really long way to go before you have to worry about whether you have a future as a battery.