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PAPER BATTERY OFFERS FUTURE POWER


November 1, 2007
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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PAPER BATTERY OFFERS FUTURE POWER

Flexible paper batteries could meet the energy demands of the next generation of gadgets, according a team of researchers who have produced a sample slightly larger than a postage stamp that can release about 2.3 volts — enough to illuminate a small light.

Professor Robert Linhardt, of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, said the paper battery was a glimpse into the future of power storage. The flexible battery can function even if it is rolled up, folded or cut.

Although the power output is currently modest, Linhardt said that increasing the output should be easy. “If we stack 500 sheets together in a ream, that’s 500 times the voltage.”

Because the battery consists mainly of paper and carbon, it could be used to power pacemakers within the body where conventional batteries pose a toxic threat.

Linhardt said integrated devices, like the paper battery, is the direction technology is moving. “They are ultimately easier to manufacture, more environmentally friendly and usable in a wide range of devices,” he said. The ambition is to produce the paper battery using a newspaper-type roller printer.

The research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Source BBC News.