Researchers Build Bacteria-Powered Paper Battery To Power Disposable Electronics

Posted: Dec 22 2016, 9:41am CST | by , in Latest Science News


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Researchers Build Bacteria-Powered Paper Battery to Power Disposable Electronics
Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York have created a bacteria-powered battery on a single sheet of paper that can power disposable electronics. Credit: Seokheun
  • Experts manufacture Bacteria-Fueled Cell on a Single Sheet of Paper

The experts have done it again. They have manufactured a bacteria-fueled cell on a lone sheet of paper.

Rather than getting a fuel cell battery in the form of a pack, in the near future, we might get one printed on a sheet of paper. This may seem hard to believe but it is true.

Researchers have created a bacteria-powered battery. It fits on a single sheet of paper. This is indeed a fine example of disposable electronics. The time and money needed to create this is minimal.

As for the design it is such that it makes bio-batteries the ideal complement to electronics in inaccessible and remote areas of the world.

Termed papertronics, the latest trend in bio-batteries is proving to be very handy and convenient. Not only is it simple, it is cheap and easy to make as well.

These paper devices can come in useful in such areas where there are little in the way of amenities. Especially in the field of medicine they could serve to save lives.

On a half of a standard A4 chromatography paper, a ribbon of silver nitrate was placed beneath a slight layer of wax. This made up the cathode end of the battery.

Then a reservoir was created from a conductive polymer on the other half of the paper. This formed the anode end of the battery. Once this paper is folded and a couple of drops of bacteria in liquid form are added to the mix, we have a virtual battery cell.

Besides the anode and cathode, there is the PEM or protein exchange membrane. The finalized version of the battery requires manual manufacturing which is not as easy as it looks. Misalignment and discontinuity are stumbling blocks along the way.

Different folding techniques could make the battery more efficient. In such emergency situations as in a theater of war or in a hospital, this paper battery could play a very important role.

It would take millions of such paper batteries to power a 40 watt bulb. Yet such vital signs as blood pressure and blood glucose and heart rate could be noted down using these papertronics.

They have a life-saving function in the true sense of the word. Such bio-batteries may be the very thing humanity needs in the times which lie ahead. They spell the death of heavy and unwieldy electronics and the birth of lightweight electronics.

The work on this battery is available online in the journal Advanced Materials Technologies and will be presented at the IEEE MEMS 2017 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada on Jan. 22-26.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.




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