This Indian-Origin Teen Designed a Sweatshirt that Can Turn Sweat into Electricity
Rohit Nemani, a 17-year-old boy from North Carolina, has come up with an innovative idea—he creates electricity from sweat salt. This young researcher is a student of Cox Mill High School, and has recently come up with this idea. He had his Eureka moment when the thought of generating electricity from sweat salt came to his mind, during one of his running sessions at school.
Salts in the sweat are electronically-charged particles that produce electricity, when contacted with an electrode. Nemani was positive that if somehow, an electrode could be woven into a sweatshirt; the results would be extraordinary, in a way that will generate energy, or electricity via sweat. He believes that he can use the power into actively cooling the fabric of sweatshirts to relieve people, especially, athletes from dehydration, sweat, heatstroke, and overheating. He also wishes to help military men, who spend a big part of their lives in unfavorable conditions, from diseases and discomfort of hot temperatures.
“When it cools you down, you sweat less,” Nemani shared his idea with a source. “That, in turn, will turn off power to the fabric. Then, as someone sweats more again, the electricity returns and the cooling fabric go back to work,” he added further.
After a great deal of research, Rohit decided to work on a fabric that would actively allow this process. For this very reason, he used 3D printers, which he borrowed from Jesse Jur at North Carolina University, to print carbon and add zinc washers into the fabric to create electrodes inside it. This attachment would create electricity within the fabric. The inner cotton layer would absorb the sweat from the skin, and the next layer, made from polyester, would spread the sweat throughout the surface of the fabric. Polyester is a hydrophobic, and for the very reason, the sweat will give the desired result. When sweat and electrode combine, the salt reacts with carbon and zinc, which produces little electricity.
Currently, Rohit is able to produce round 1.7 volt of electricity from the sleeve of the fabric. Additionally, he has also discovered that an artificial mixture of salt and water (about half ml) that gives an impression of sweat, when added to blueprint of sweatshirt, generates about 0.7 volt of electricity.
Keeping up with his plan, Rohit sent a sample of his experimental sweatshirt, to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. The sweat and electrodes, when mixed together into the shirt, produced little amount of electricity.
Here’s wishing this young innovator the best in his endeavor. Keep bringing your ideas and light to this world!