A water-powered paper battery developed
Switzerland: A remarkable water-powered paper battery has been developed that can be disposed of after one use, reducing the concentration of e-waste globally.
It can be used for medical purposes and temporarily due to various properties that are completely biodegradable. Low-cost batteries can be made from eco-friendly components of any size and power, while in early experiments a paper battery produced the same amount of electricity as a pencil cell.
Scientists at the Swiss Federal Laboratory for Materials Science and Technology have developed a paper battery that can power small devices and sensors that have been printed on paper, technically known as a ‘material-air electrochemical cell’. It uses zinc metal as anode and graphite as cathode. To separate the two, paper is placed in the middle, in which water is added and used as an electrolyte.
The battery paper was dipped in sodium chloride solution and has an area of only one square centimeter. It is also printed with light, which has flakes of graphite that act as the cathode (positive end) and on the other side a layer of zinc that forms the positive anode.
The third light (ink) consists of graphite flakes and carbon black glued to the two previous lights on either side. Thus wires were attached to them leading to the paper and the paper was then dipped in wax. Then just a couple of drops of water were dropped, the salt on the surface of the paper dissolved and a charge was created that started moving forward. Thus the flow of electrons started and the small device was powered by this electricity.
In this way, 1.2 volts of electricity was produced smoothly, which is equivalent to a pencil cell. After adding water, the paper battery continued to discharge for 20 seconds. Adding extra water reduced the amount of electricity to half a volt, but its duration lasted for two hours, meaning the paper battery continued to operate for two hours continuously.
Based on this experience, simple batteries that can be used only once can be made.