Controlling mosquito populations, especially in isolated or remote areas, is a global public health priority. In a new study, a team of Chinese researchers advances this agenda by designing more efficient safe self-powered nanoelectroelectric generators (TENGs) to stun mosquitoes and mitigate mosquito-borne diseases.
The study has been published in Nano research energy On May 23, 2023.
Spreading diseases like malaria, yellow fever, and the Zika virus, mosquitoes kill more people than any other creature in the world, and isolated regions are among the hardest hit. Chemical extermination methods include toxic substances and pesticides that can pose a threat to human health and the environment. Physical extermination methods use high voltages to stun the insects, but these methods can be dangerous and depend on a continuous power source—which can be difficult to come by in remote areas.
Xuhua Guo said, “It is absolutely necessary to develop a non-toxic, self-powered, and safe high-voltage power supply to prevent the spread of diseases by mosquitoes, especially on isolated islands or remote/poor areas where it is difficult to provide electricity.” The first author of this research article is from China Ocean University.
TENG devices offer a promising solution to this problem. TENG harvests static electricity by converting low-frequency mechanical energy in the environment into electrical energy. Due to the unique combination of high voltage and low current, TENGs can be designed simply and inexpensively from a wide variety of fabrication materials, while still being highly efficient with a high output voltage.
TENGs have already been used to harvest energy from motion from human bodies, ocean waves, and other low-frequency sources of motion. In order to increase the TENG’s usability and number of suitable applications, scientists have been studying strategies to enhance the TENG’s charge density and improve output performance, including ion implantation, electrostatic material modification, structural design, and charging plug. However, simply enhancing the charge density will often lead to air collapse, a phenomenon that reduces the output performance of the TENG and limits the maximum effective power output.
“The air collapse effect causes the charges generated on the TENG surface to diffuse into the atmosphere, resulting in charge loss and a decrease in the surface charge density,” said Guo, who is also an exchange student at the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems. “The TENG’s output performance has not yet reached a theoretical high, so avoiding air collapse becomes the key to improving TENG performance.”
Xiaoyi Li’s research team has proposed a new design for fabricating a TENG—a high-performance rotary electric nanogenerator (R-TENG)—using a customized theoretical model of air cracking and an inner layer of ferroelectric nanocomposites to prevent air breakdown and reduce wasted energy.
In the simplest TENG design, the electric charges on the contacting surfaces are separated, and an electric potential is generated between the surfaces. When the membranes are separated during movement, an alternating potential difference is formed between the two electrodes, which causes current to flow. To raise the level of performance, the team’s R-TENG design included an intermediate layer with highly oriented barium titanate nanoparticles to increase the surface charge density and the ability to hold triboelectric charges.
“We also generated customized theoretical simulations based on graded electrode gaps to optimize gap angles and electrode segment numbers, which can prevent air collapse and enhance the R-TENG’s output power by at least 1.5 times,” said Gu.
The results of the study showed that, with the help of the drive circuits, output voltages of up to 6 kV could be achieved – among the best performing monopoly electric generators – with the ability to continuously light more than 3420 LEDs.
“We made an autonomous high-voltage disease prevention system based on high-performance R-TENG, which not only can effectively kill mosquitoes but also has the ability to destroy bacteria in the environment,” Guo said.
Next, the research team will focus on improving the performance of TENG and enhancing its commercial applications.
Xuhua Guo et al, High-performance photovoltaic nanogenerator based on theoretical analysis, photovoltaic nanocomposites and their high-voltage applications, Nano research energy (2023). doi: 10.26599/NRE.2023.9120074
the quote: Mosquito zappers get a boost from redesigning static electricity harvester (2023, May 31) Retrieved May 31, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-05-mosquito-zappers-boost-static-electricity-harvester .html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for informational purposes only.