A T-shirt that generates energy made with tomato skins

Researchers at the University of Malaga in Spain in collaboration with the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa designed a low-cost T-shirt that generates energy from the temperature difference between the human body and the surroundings based on tomato skins.

To make electronic devices, and also e-textiles like the T-shirt, have commonly been made with metals. Rather than those, the new project relies on more affordable and less toxic materials to generate electricity.

According to the researchers, the formula is relatively simple: water and ethanol derived from tomato skins are mixed with carbon nanoparticles. When heated, this mixture penetrates and adheres to cotton, which obtains electrical properties. All that without tellurium, germanium or lead, but instead with biodegradable materials.

The electricity would be generated using the difference in body temperature and the surrounding temperature. So if the person wearing it is exercising, more energy would be generated.

Currently, the team is experimenting if the energy can be used to light up the shirt or to use it to charge phones.

Photos: University of Malaga