Researchers created efficient, biodegradable, paper-based biobatteries, according to a study conducted on August 8, 2018.
This study was conducted by the researchers at the Binghamton University. Although there has been excitement in the scientific community about the possibility of paper-based batteries, the proposed designs were never quite powerful enough and production was difficult. The new paper-based biobatteries are a solution to all the aforementioned problems.
Associate Professor Seokheun Choi and Professor Omowunmi worked on the project together. The design of the paper-based battery was engineered by Choi and Sadik made a self-sustaining biobattery. This solution will help in reducing electronic waste. Choi said, “Our hybrid paper battery exhibited a much higher power-to-cost ratio than all previously reported paper-based microbial batteries.”
A hybrid of paper and engineered polymers were used by the biobattery. The polymers, poly (amic) acid and poly (pyromellitic dianhydride-p-phenylenediamine), were the key to giving the batteries biodegrading properties. The degradation of the battery was tested by the researchers in water and it clearly biodegraded without the requirements of special facilities, conditions or introduction of other microorganisms. Choi said, “Power enhancement can be potentially achieved by simply folding or stacking the hybrid, flexible paper-polymer devices.”
The polymer-paper structures are lightweight, low-cost, and flexible. According to the researchers, production of biobatteries is a fairly straightforward process and that the material allows for modifications depending on what configuration is needed. The work was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation and done through the Center for Research in Advanced Sensing Technologies and Environmental Sustainability (CREATES).