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Web Exclusive | November 2016

Recycled fibreboard & pulp to generate power

Recycled cardboard fibres and pulp, when developed into triboelectric generators can produce electricity. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are advancing the field of “roadside energy harvesting” by getting help from recycled paper boards and pulp based cellulose nanofibres.

Integrated triboelectric fibreboards were developed using cellulose nanofibres triboelectric generator embedded in fibreboards developed using recycled paper boards, using cold press method. Triboelectric phenomenon is similar to the production of static charges on textiles. Cellulose nanofibres were produced using commercially available bleached eucalyptus pulp.

Dr. Xudong Wang of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison collaborated with USDA’s Forest Products Laboratory, Madison in developing the electricity generator. The team demonstrated that electric power necessary to charge up to 35 green LEDS, can be generated when a person stepped on to the fibreboard, as if walking. The mechanical energy is then converted into electrical energy.

By: Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA
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