Researchers have created a bacteria-powered battery on a single sheet of paper that can power disposable electronics. The manufacturing technique reduces fabrication time and cost, and the design could revolutionize the use of bio-batteries as a power source in remote, dangerous and resource-limited areas, according to the scientists from Binghamton University, State University of New York. Also Read - 5 things to do to save your smartphone's battery from an early retirementAlso Read - Xiaomi shares details about the ‘Ultra Battery-Saver’ mode on MIUI 12; Here is how it works
“Papertronics have recently emerged as a simple and low-cost way to power disposable point-of-care diagnostic sensors,” said Assistant Professor Seokheun Choi. “Stand-alone and self-sustained, paper-based, point-of-care devices are essential to providing effective and life-saving treatments in resource-limited settings,” Choi noted.
On one half of a piece of chromatography paper, the researchers placed a ribbon of silver nitrate underneath a thin layer of wax to create a cathode. They then made a reservoir out of a conductive polymer on the other half of the paper, which acted as the anode. Once properly folded and a few drops of bacteria-filled liquid are added, the microbes’ cellular respiration powered the battery. ALSO READ: Smartphone batteries produce over 100 toxic gases: Study
“The device requires layers to include components, such as the anode, cathode and PEM (proton exchange membrane),” Choi explained. It would take millions of paper batteries to power a common 40-watt light bulb, but on the battlefield or in a disaster situation, usability and portability is paramount.
The technique was described online in the journal Advanced Materials Technologies.