The team at the University of Limerick (UL) had previously discovered that applying pressure to a protein found in egg whites and tears can generate electricity.
Now it has achieved a new advance producing energy from forest waste, a natural material that can be produced at a very low price.
Scientists at the Bernal Institute of UL have discovered that the glycine molecule, when struck or squeezed, can generate enough electricity to power electrical devices in an economically viable and environmentally sustainable way.
Glycine is the simplest amino acid.
"It's really exciting that such a small molecule can generate so much electricity," said lead author Sarah Guerin.
The research was published in the leading international journal & # 39; Nature Materials & # 39 ;.