Wooden flooring can turn footsteps into electricity, here is how

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Sep 02, 2021, 01:53 PM(IST)

Representative image Photograph:( Reuters )

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Termed as a nanogenerator, the device is based on sandwiching two pieces of wood between electrodes

A recent technology developed by scientists can turn footsteps into electricity.

The researchers from Switzerland have developed an energy-harvesting device that uses wood with a combination of a silicone coating and embedded nanocrystals. 

This produces enough energy to power LED lightbulbs and small electronics.

Termed as a nanogenerator, the device is based on sandwiching two pieces of wood between electrodes.

The wood pieces become electrically charged owing to contact and separation when stepped on via a phenomenon called the triboelectric effect.

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This further effect occurs when electrons can transfer from one object to another, akin to the static electricity produced when you rub a balloon on your hair for a few seconds.

Senior study author, Guido Panzarasa said, "Wood doesn’t have a strong tendency to lose nor attract electrons. As such, wood is a terrible triboelectric material, but wood is an excellent building material".

He added, "Imagining making a floor with these kinds of devices, the amount of energy that could be produced by people just walking".

“Our focus was to demonstrate the possibility of modifying wood with relatively environmentally friendly procedures to make it triboelectric. Spruce is cheap and available and has favourable mechanical properties.”

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