News

Swiss develop environmentally friendly battery made of paper

Modern electronics that come along wirelessly cannot be operated without a battery. Unfortunately, until now these energy storage devices have been quite a burden on the environment. A team of researchers in Switzerland now wants to change that. They are currently developing a battery that will be biodegradable by using paper.

Salty paper as energy storage

It sounds crazy, but the ingenious paper battery is said to be able to generate energy just by combining saline paper and water. At the heart of it all is a strip that has a wax coating. The team of scientists places two wires on this strip, which are to serve as connectors to the energy receiver. A total of three inks are used to generate the energy, which are printed onto the paper strip. While one ink serves as an anode and another as a cathode, the third is to collect electricity by connecting the two sides to the wires.

Battery
Image: Empa

All that is needed to get the energy production going is two drops of water. These ensure that the salt dissolves in the paper. This in turn should distribute the ions in the paper battery.  Various subsequent chemical reactions ultimately ensure that electricity is generated. This should be high enough to operate electrical devices. As part of a research setup, the scientists have probably already been able to operate a small alarm clock that has an LCD display.

Power generation of the battery on demand

By not using battery acid or other environmentally harmful liquids, the paper battery is said to offer much more safety on top of that. Thus electricity is produced here really only on call. First of all, water must be dripped onto the paper strip. It then takes just 20 seconds for the strip to produce electricity. The production of electricity is supposed to continue until the paper has dried again. This is probably where the scientists still have a small problem to solve.

After moistening the paper strip, electricity is produced for only about one hour. After that, it has to be sprinkled again to provide another hour. But apparently the scientists are already thinking about this, too. For example, a substrate is to ensure that the paper strip remains permanently moist. Since it is mainly the zinc that is used up by the rapid drying of the paper, one would like to help here apparently also with a larger quantity.

The battery of the future

If the plan really works out, the invention of the Swiss scientists could be groundbreaking. After all, the entire paper battery is biodegradable. Especially for small electronic devices with a low power consumption, this technology could really be groundbreaking. We are curious to see in which direction the project will still steer. Should you want more info on this, you can take a look at the journal Nature Scientific Reports. This is where the researchers published their initial findings. For e-cars, however, the performance is likely to be too low. VW is showing how these can at least be more durable. The carmaker is using them without further ado as energy storage units for charging stations. This means that some companies are now acting in line with the environmental friendliness required by the EU when it comes to battery technology.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

Related Articles

Neue Antworten laden...

Basic Tutorials

Gehört zum Inventar

6,615 Beiträge 1,874 Likes

Modern electronics that come along wirelessly cannot be operated without a battery. Unfortunately, until now these energy storage devices have been quite a burden on the environment. A team of researchers in Switzerland now wants to change that. They are currently developing a battery that will be biodegradable by using paper. Salty paper as energy … (Weiterlesen...)

Antworten Like

Back to top button