Submitted: The Two Sides Team October 20, 2015
An inexpensive, foldable battery made from paper and dirty water relies on the process of microbial respiration to generate power. The battery is the brainchild of Seokheun “Sean” Choi, an engineer at Binghamton University.
This story was reported by Eric Mack on the Gizmag website, June 13, 2015.
An engineer at Binghamton University in New York has developed a battery that relieson paper’s unique properties—plus a drop of dirty water—to generate a small amount of electricity. As reported by Gizmag’s Eric Mack, the system uses liquid containing bacteria to power a paper-based sensor—a process that could be especially useful in areas with limited access to electricity or other resources.
The article also quotes the battery’s developer, Seokheun “Sean” Choi: “Any type of organic material can be the source of bacteria for the bacterial metabolism, and we don’t need external pumps or syringes because paper can suck up a solution using capillary force.”
Mack writes that the battery can fold down to the size of a matchbook, and uses an inexpensive air-breathing cathode made of liquid nickel sprayed onto one side of a regular piece of paper. Developers used origami techniques to create stackable, three-dimensional battery structures from the original, two-dimensional paper batteries.
While the foldable paper battery is still in its initial stages, a three-year, $300,000 grant from the US National Science Foundation will help Choi develop the system.
Also reported in: Nano Energy Journal, July 2015: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211285515002359
PBS News Hour blog, June 27, 2015: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/engineers-create-collapsible-battery-powered-help-dirty-water/