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Onion Electricity? These IITians Generate Power Through Onion Skins!

According to research conducted at the institute, since onion skin was found to have piezoelectric properties, it is perfect to use in the nanogenerator developed by the scientists.

The search for alternative sources of energy generation has led scientists of IIT Kharagpur to create electricity—out of onion skins!

According to research conducted at the institute, since onion skin was found to have piezoelectric properties, it is perfect to use in the nano-generator developed by the scientists.

Additionally, onions are used in many Indian households and therefore, are a readily available source of bio-waste.

If a material is piezoelectric, it means that it can generate a current when a slight pressure is applied. Nano-generators are made out of this piezoelectric material and can generate electricity to power small devices. As they are barely the width of a hair, the lightest pressure can create a current, and they convert kinetic energy into electrical energy.


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Usually, nanogenerators are challenging to make and may use toxic materials. This reality is what spurred scientists at IIT to create their own biodegradable, and biocompatible nanogenerator.

According to a report by the Indiatimes, the implications of this breakthrough include a reduce in biowaste, and the potential to power pacemakers, smart pills, and portable devices such as watches.

Featured image courtesy: Flickr/Flickr

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