WARF is seeking commercial partners to help develop a new kind of energy harvesting device made from renewable materials.
Xudong Wang, an associate professor in the Materials and Science Engineering department at UW-Madison and lead inventor for this technology, has been working on this specific project for almost two years, having been involved with energy harvesting technology for over a decade.
WARF has applied for a patent on the technology, called a “triboelectric nanogenerator,” which harnesses mechanical energy and turns it into an electric current. It takes the form of a lightweight, flat, biodegradable material.
The two active layers in the power board are made of chemically treated wood fibers or cellulose. Cellulose and wood fiber work well in this application, because they are “cheaper, renewable and nontoxic,” Wang says.
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