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Nanogenerator-powered electrospinning system

(Nanowerk News) Researchers have developed a system that can execute the electrospinning process without any external power source.
Reporting their findings in ACS Nano ("Self-Powered Electrospinning System Driven by a Triboelectric Nanogenerator"), the self-powered electrospinning system driven by a triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) is achieved by the combination of a rotating-disk TENG (R-TENG), a voltage-doubling rectifying circuit, and a simple spinneret.
Structural design and photographs of the self-powered electrospinning system
Structural design and photographs of the self-powered electrospinning system. (a) Schematic illustration of the self-powered electrospinning system. (b) Structural design of the RTENG. (c) Photograph of the rotator and stator of the R-TENG. (d) Photograph of the hand-cranked R-TENG. (© American Chemical Society)
To actuate the electrospinning process by the R-TENG, the researchers designed a voltage-doubling rectifying circuit (VDRC) and systematically investigated to obtain the optimum configuration.
Finally, under an amplifying multiple of 22 and capacitance value of 1 104 pF, the system can output a maximum constant DC voltage of 8.0 kV.
The team reports that this self-powered electrospinning system exhibits excellent performance in the manufacturing of various polymer nanofibers, such as PET, PA6, PAN, PVDF, and TPU.
They note that the self-powered electrospinning system driven by the RTENG is comparable with commercial electrospinning machines and has the merits of simple structure, low cost, light weight, high efficiency, and energy conservation, which will bring a great breakthrough to the electrospinning technique, especially in the field or in remote places without an electric power supply.
This study not only demonstrates the potential application of the TENGs in high-voltage manufacturing equipment but also broadens the application scenarios of electrospinning, especially in the field or in remote places without an electric power supply.
For example, it has been proved that polymer nanofibers can be directly spun onto the injured location of skin to form a fibrous mat, which can not only prevent bacteria from entering the wound but also allow skin to breathe. The wound therapy does not need too many nanofibers. It is feasible to treat skin wounds through short-time, even intermittent electrospinning.
"Therefore, the self-powered electrospinning system may have great potential applications in wilderness therapy by laborious work in turn," the authors conclude their report. "With an appropriate power management circuit, the TENG can not only be used for powering low-voltage electronics but also be applied for powering high-voltage manufacturing equipment."
By Michael is author of two books by the Royal Society of Chemistry: Nano-Society: Pushing the Boundaries of Technology and Nanotechnology: The Future is Tiny.
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