From Shower to Power – Luffa sponges

From Shower to Power – Luffa sponges

Technology News |
By Wisse Hettinga

It is possible to capture small amounts of electricity by repeatedly squeezing treated luffa sponges

Luffa sponges are porous shells that are left behind when the fruit of a luffa plant is left to dry. They have been prepared and sold as a commercial product, mainly as a tool for removing dead skin from the body while in the shower. In this new effort, the researchers looked at luffa as a possible tool for generating small amounts of electricity

They first treated them with chemicals to remove hemicellulose and lignin, leaving behind a cellulose crystal shell. Then, they connected the results to an electrical circuit and began squeezing them over and over by hand. The research team found they were able to generate up to 8 nanoamps of electricity.

They acknowledge that the amount of electricity generated is so small that it likely would not be of much use, but they also suggest that artificially created luffa sponges could be created that would be more efficient. They could also be made a lot bigger to generate useable amounts of electricity.

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