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Batteries have been around for more than 100 years, but these days, in some remote or resource-limited areas, they are still a luxury.A new paper based bio-battery powered by bacteria, which will be unveiled at the American chemical society's 256th national conference and expo, may change that and bring new, low-cost energy to these regions.
The new battery was developed by a team of researchers at the state university of New York.The researchers printed thin layers of metal and other materials on the surface of the paper as a substrate, then placed the freeze-dried electroforming bacteria on the paper to make a paper-based biological battery.In a matter of minutes, the freeze-dried bacteria, which simply smear water or saliva on the paper, will be restored to life. As they make energy for themselves, the electrons they produce pass through the cell membrane and come into contact with external electrodes to power the battery.
Because the paper breathes, the researchers worried that the electrons produced by the bacteria would be absorbed by oxygen before reaching the electrode, affecting the battery's performance.But studies have shown that oxygen has little effect on battery performance because bacterial cells are so tightly attached to the paper fibers that they quickly transfer electrons to the anode before oxygen can get involved.
As a biosensor material, paper has unique advantages, good flexibility, large surface area, low price.The innovative structural engineering technology enables people to control the fiber diameter, smoothness and transparency of paper, which lays a good foundation for the extensive application of paper in the new generation of electronic products.Paper-based batteries are generally favored because of their wide applicability, ecological friendliness and low cost.The researchers point out that the cost of their new paper-based battery is low, easy to carry, and can be easily integrated into disposable electronic devices. Although it has not yet reached the level of practical application, the battery performance still needs to be improved significantly, but this improvement can be achieved through the stack and connection of multiple paper batteries.
At present, this kind of disposable battery has a shelf life of about 4 months.Researchers are looking for ways to improve the survival and performance of freeze-dried bacteria, thus extending battery life.