- Battery the size of a single sheet of paper
- Battery powered by bacteria-filled liquid
Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York, have designed a bacteria-powered battery that’s nothing but a single sheet of paper.
The battery is capable of supplying power to disposable electronics, researchers said.
As told by sources, the innovative design will reduce fabrication time and cost. At the same time, it aims to revolutionize the use of bio-batteries as a source of power in remote and resource-limited areas.
How the Bacteria-Powered Battery Was Made
“Papertronics have recently emerged as a simple and low-cost way to power disposable point-of-care diagnostic sensors,” said Assistant Professor Seokheun “Sean” Choi of the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science.
To make the battery, researchers placed a ribbon of silver nitrate on one half of a piece of chromatography paper. They then covered it with a thin layer of wax to make it work like a cathode.
A conductive polymer was used on the other half of the paper to make a reservoir of sorts. It served as the anode, according to Science Daily.
They then folded the paper properly and added a few drops of bacteria-filled liquid. According to the scientists, the cellular respiration of the microbes powers the battery.
Once properly folded and a few drops of bacteria-filled liquid are added, the microbes’ cellular respiration powers the battery.
“The final battery demands manual assembly, and there are potential issues such as misalignment and vertical discontinuity between layers. This ultimately decrease power generation,” Choi said.
According to the Science Daily report, different folding and stacking methods can improve power output on a significant level.
The report also said that researchers were able to generate 31.51 microwatts at 125.53 microamps with six batteries in parallel series. In a 6×6 configuration, they were able to obtain power of 44.85 microwatts at 105.89.
How to Benefit from the Battery
It would take millions of such bacteria-powered batteries to power a 40-watt light bulb. That being said, the battery comes handy in dire situations such as in the battlefield or in disaster zones where portability is paramount.
Moreover, these batteries carry enough power to run biosensors that monitor glucose levels in diabetes patients. The batteries can also detect pathogens in a body or perform other life-saving functions in emergency situations.