Written by IEEE | September 29, 2016 | Updated: December 19, 2017
As more and more fish are being consumed in India, the amount of biowaste generated has greatly increased. Instead of tossing the biowaste, researchers at the University in Kolkata have found a way to turn the trash into energy generators for self-powered electronics.
The key to creating an electric charge from biowaste lies in the scales of the fish. The scales contain collagen fibers that have a piezoelectric property. The researchers took the fish biowaste, then removed and processed the scales to make them flexible and translucent. They connected electrodes to both sides of what was developed from the biowaste and laminated it, resulting in a bio-piezoelectric nanogenerator.
The creation of a biodegradable energy harvester has major implications for the future of electronics and medicine. The technology is very attractive for use in implantable medical devices, because it is comprised of collagen. The use of fish scales as an energy generator is a natural and nontoxic solution. Researchers hope that this discovery could eventually be used in biocompatible electronics, self-powered medical devices like pacemakers, or during surgeries and in vitro diagnostics.