A Battery Powered by Bacteria and Sweat

Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst have engineered a bacteria-based battery that can produce power from human sweat. The key to their innovation is bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens, a bacteria that can produce electricity and has been used to explore microbial batteries. However, its need to be fed a constant diet has limited its functionality. To get around this, the researchers grew the bacteria sustainably in a biofilm, a consortium of microorganisms that grow on a surface, which provides nutrients to the bacteria so it can generate longterm energy. On the biofilm, the bacteria can convert energy from sweat evaporation into electricity with the goal of powering wearable electronics like medical sensors or personal gadgets. “It is real green energy,” says researcher Xiaomeng Liu, “and unlike other so-called ‘green-energy’ sources, its production is totally green.” Learn more about this at Digital Journal.

Image courtesy of AFP