By Ryan Morrison For Mailonline
Published: 12:19 GMT, 5 January 2021 | Updated: 12:19 GMT, 5 January 2021
A new super-absorbent film could be used to turn sweat into electricity to power wearable electronic devices such as a smart watch, according to its developers.
Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) created the novel film that can evaporate sweat from the skin to keep people cool while exercising.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
The team say the film, which could be included in fabrics or as a new shoe lining, can also power electronic devices by converting the moisture into energy.
To make this work they created a new wearable energy harvesting device with eight cells - each can produce about half a volt of energy after absorbing moisture.
This is currently enough to power an LED bulb - but the technology is only at the proof of concept stage and the team believe it can be extended to power fitness trackers, watches or other future wearable technology when it is fully developed.
The team developed a 3D printed shoe insole and lining that can absorb sweat and keep athletes cool while out running
As part of the initial testing the team also created a simple armpit patch that absorbs the sweat before it reaches clothes (middle images)
The new film was reported in the journal Nano Energy and early experiments involved a patch that could absorb underarm sweat and stop it reaching clothing.
'When water is evaporated from the skin surface, it lowers the skin temperature and we feel cooler,' explained team leader Tan Swee Ching.
'In our new invention, we created a novel film that is extremely effective in evaporating sweat from our skin and then absorbing the moisture from sweat.'Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
The main components of the novel thin film are two hygroscopic chemicals – cobalt chloride and ethanolamine, the team explained.
Besides being extremely moisture-absorbent, this film can rapidly release water when exposed to sunlight. It can