Our biofuel cell generates power from glucose sugar in a snail's body. We drill holes through the shell and implant enzyme-coated electrodes in the hemolymph, or snail blood, that naturally collects between the snail's body and shell. Like any battery, ours is based on chemical reactions that create a flow of electrons. One electrode grabs electrons from glucose in the hemolymph. The electrons then travel through an external circuit—including any device we want to power—and end up at the opposing electrode. There, the electrons react with oxygen in the hemolymph to form water. The power output is small, in the range of microwatts, and runs out after a few minutes as the glucose is depleted. After harvesting energy, the snail eats and drinks, restoring glucose levels in its body, and it can then generate power again. The snails don't appear to be harmed by the biocell.
The cell's power output is limited by two factors: (1) the amount of glucose in the snail's small body and (2) the time glucose takes to diffuse over to the electrode. If doctors implanted something like the biofuel cell in a person instead of a snail, we could get a stronger and more consistent flow of electricity, because human blood has more glucose than snail blood and because the human circulatory system would constantly replenish the electrode with fresh glucose (snails don't have a closed circulatory system). The idea is to use human-based variations on our biofuel cell to power implantable medical devices, such as pacemakers. A snail couldn't charge a cellphone, but it could power small sensors. That's another idea—to employ snails, worms and insects for environmental monitoring and homeland security.
—Evgeny Katz is a chemist at Clarkson University
no, in humans it also a fantasic weight loss device. now you have a system that draws power (calories) out of the body. effectively burning off some excess energy, without the need to run on a treadmill to do so.
OBVIOUSLY, excercise and diet is the proper way to good health and optimum body size.
But still, a device like this, if it could safely cause a person to burn off say, 300 extra calories, could allow weight loss faster and/or with out so much effort.
I've been thinking about this type of arrangement for some time, looks like somebody turned around and did it. I hope it has real potential!
1 cal = 4.1868 Ws (watt seconds)
Power output of average human heart: 2watts
2watts x 86,400 sec per day =172,800 watt seconds
172,800 divided by 4.1868 Ws= 41.27 calories to run a electicaly powered artificial heart (course you have to factor in mechanical efficiency)
delange -- interesting calcs, although I don't know if you are thinking that the electrical task could be calculated in the same way as exercise.
At any rate, to run the heart for 24 hours by your data would actually take 41,272 calories -- assuming that I got it right.
Anybody see energy harvesting a la 'matrix' style?
Looking at the snail, it seems simuliar to a base ball cap. If then we slip this base ball cap on the writers of PoPSCI and check for voltage of inspiring writing, investigative talents, I do not see much energy being made at all.
Though they are adept at plagiarizing other people's articles that were writing days, weeks or months earlier. And of course they are good at writing article about products or anyone that pays their bills.
Still, POPSCI is a forum of science, gadgets and gizmos of what is new in one place and in this I enjoy the WoWzers effect. I also enjoy other peoples comments as they blog.
Every day is a new day!
this reminds me of the little snails that people use to communicate on "one piece". i mean here are these snails who don't really care, they just do what they normally do...
to mars or bust!
ford2go, what we call a "calorie" is actually a kilocalorie, so 41.272 calories = 41,272 calories depending on what the person who's writing or speaking means.
Did this illustration bother anyone else? I'm fairly certain that a snail wouldn't generate the 115VAC implied by the household outlet, let alone enough wattage to run anything useful.