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Converting Chemical Energy to Electricity through a Three-Jaw Mini-Generator Driven by the Decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide

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State Key Laboratory of Chemical Resource Engineering & Beijing Engineering Research Center for the Synthesis and Applications of Waterborne Polymers, Ministry of Education, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China
State Key Laboratory of Inorganic Synthesis and Applied Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Qingdao University of Science and Technology, Qingdao 266042, China
Cite this: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2016, 8, 18, 11403–11411
Publication Date (Web):April 20, 2016
Copyright © 2016 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract Image

    Energy conversion from a mechanical form to electricity is one of the most important research advancements to come from the horizontal locomotion of small objects. Until now, the Marangoni effect has been the only propulsion method to produce the horizontal locomotion to induce an electromotive force, which is limited to a short duration because of the specific property of surfactants. To solve this issue, in this article we utilized the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide to provide the propulsion for a sustainable energy conversion from a mechanical form to electricity. We fabricated a mini-generator consisting of three parts: a superhydrophobic rotator with three jaws, three motors to produce a jet of oxygen bubbles to propel the rotation of the rotator, and three magnets integrated into the upper surface of the rotator to produce the magnet flux. Once the mini-generator was placed on the solution surface, the motor catalyzed the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide. This generated a large amount of oxygen bubbles that caused the generator and integrated magnets to rotate at the air/water interface. Thus, the magnets passed under the coil area and induced a change in the magnet flux, thus generating electromotive forces. We also investigated experimental factors, that is, the concentration of hydrogen peroxide and the turns of the solenoid coil, and found that the mini-generator gave the highest output in a hydrogen peroxide solution with a concentration of 10 wt % and under a coil with 9000 turns. Through combining the stable superhydrophobicity and catalyst, we realized electricity generation for a long duration, which could last for 26 000 s after adding H2O2 only once. We believe this work provides a simple process for the development of horizontal motion and provides a new path for energy reutilization.

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    Supporting Information

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acsami.6b00550.

    • Characterization of the as-prepared superhydrophobic rotator and hydrogen peroxide-responsive actuator; illustration of experimental setup; induced potential of generator in the H2O2solution with different concentration; induced current under solenoid coil with different turns; and calculation of energy conversion efficiency. (PDF)

    • Movie S1, showing the rapid rotation of the mini-generator. (AVI)

    • Movie S2, showing the rotating process of a hydrophilic device. (AVI)

    • Movie S3, showing the electricity generation process of the mini-generator. (AVI)

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    This article is cited by 28 publications.

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