The next time you pull over a T-shirt, perhaps you might not look at it the same way ever again. After all, researchers over at the University of South Carolina have come up with a new method to use cheap T-shirts in order to stash away electrical power. Yes sir, that is correct, we are talking about clothes which could potentially be used to juice up your devices wherever you go – hence making sure the lack of power issue is no longer going to be that big a bane to the modern day road warrior. This is made possible by transforming the T-shirt fabric into a ‘supercapacitor’.
According to Xiaodong Li, a professor of mechanical engineering at the university who worked with post-doctorate researcher Lihong Bao, they used a pre-loved T-shirt from a local discount store, soaking it in a solution of fluoride, only to leave it to dry and thereafter, baked in an oxygen-free environment at high temperature. This would cause the fibres in the fabric to convert from cellulose to activated carbon during the process, although retaining the flexibility of the material. Tiny bits of the fabric will then function as an electrode, and it was proven by the researchers that this could be turned into a capacitor after that to stash power. How neat is that?
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