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Diaper Waste Recycling Towards a Triboelectric Nanogenerator based Weather Station: An Innovative Solution for Sustainable Energy Generation
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  • Sayyid Basith,
  • Ananthakumar Ramadoss ,
  • Gaurav Khandelwal ,
  • George Jacob ,
  • Arunkumar Chandrasekhar
Sayyid Basith
Vellore Institute of Technology
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Ananthakumar Ramadoss
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Gaurav Khandelwal
University of Glasgow
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George Jacob
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Arunkumar Chandrasekhar
Vellore Institute of Technology

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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The escalating concerns surrounding waste management worldwide and the pressing need for sustainable energy sources have prompted innovative solutions at the nexus of resource recycling and self-powered applications. Diapers are disposed of after use in modern society, and widely available diapers are not environmentally friendly, thus posing a significant threat to the environment. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 2023 report, around 250 million single-use diapers are thrown out daily across the globe. This research presents a pioneering approach to recycling super absorbent polymer (SAP) gels from waste diapers and using them alongside discarded baking sheets to fabricate a maraca-resembled Diaper Waste-based Triboelectric Nanogenerator (DW-TENG). The fabricated DW-TENG is demonstrated for developing a self-powered weather station, enabling real-time wind speed, humidity, and temperature monitoring. The manuscript details the intricate fabrication of the DW-TENG, elucidating design considerations, assembly processes, and the unique roles of SAP powder and baking sheets in the triboelectric energy generation mechanism. In addition, our study quantifies the potential global impact of diaper recycling on energy generation. Based on the calculations, a 4.72 MW power generation is expected yearly, considering the yearly diaper disposal rates. The work highlights the transformative impact of recycling practices for energy generation and represents a promising stride toward a circular and sustainable future.