In remote areas of the world or in regions with limited resources, everyday items like electrical outlets and batteries are luxuries. Health care workers in these areas often lack electricity to power diagnostic devices, and commercial batteries may be unavailable or too expensive. New power sources are needed that are low-cost and portable. Today, researchers report a new type of battery –- made of paper and fueled by bacteria — that could overcome these challenges.
The researchers will present their results today at the 256th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ACS, the world’s largest scientific society, is holding the meeting here through Thursday. It features more than 10,000 presentations on a wide range of science topics.
“Paper has unique advantages as a material for biosensors,” says Seokheun (Sean) Choi, Ph.D., who is presenting the work at the meeting. “It is inexpensive, disposable, flexible and has a high surface area. However, sophisticated sensors require a power supply. Commercial batteries are too wasteful and expensive, and they can’t be integrated into paper substrates. The best solution is a paper-based bio-battery.”
Researchers have previously developed disposable paper-based biosensors for cheap and convenient diagnosis of diseases and health conditions, as well as for detecting contaminants in the environment. Many such devices rely on color changes to report a result, but they often aren’t very sensitive. To boost sensitivity, the biosensors need a power supply. Choi wanted to develop an inexpensive paper battery powered by bacteria that could be easily incorporated into these single-use devices.
So Choi and his colleagues at the State University of New York, Binghamton made a paper battery by printing thin layers of metals and other materials onto a paper surface. Then, they placed freeze-dried “exoelectrogens” on the paper. Exoelectrogens are a special type of bacteria that can transfer electrons outside of their cells. The electrons, which are generated when the bacteria make energy for themselves, pass through the cell membrane. They can then make contact with external electrodes and power the battery. To activate the battery, the researchers added water or saliva. Within a couple of minutes, the liquid revived the bacteria, which produced enough electrons to power a light-emitting diode and a calculator.
The researchers also investigated how oxygen affects the performance of their device. Oxygen, which passes easily through paper, could soak up electrons produced by the bacteria before they reach the electrode. The team found that although oxygen slightly decreased power generation, the effect was minimal. This is because the bacterial cells were tightly attached to the paper fibers, which rapidly whisked the electrons away to the anode before oxygen could intervene.
The paper battery, which can be used once and then thrown away, currently has a shelf-life of about four months. Choi is working on conditions to improve the survival and performance of the freeze-dried bacteria, enabling a longer shelf life. “The power performance also needs to be improved by about 1,000-fold for most practical applications,” Choi says. This could be achieved by stacking and connecting multiple paper batteries, he notes. Choi has applied for a patent for the battery and is seeking industry partners for commercialization.
Learn more: A paper battery powered by bacteria
The Latest on: Biobattery
via Google News
The Latest on: Biobattery
- Everything will connect to the internet someday, and this biobattery could helpon June 4, 2019 at 12:58 pm
In the future, small paper and plastic devices will be able to connect to the internet for a short duration, providing information on everything from healthcare to consumer products, before they are ...
- Everything will connect to the internet someday, and this biobattery could help make that a realityon June 3, 2019 at 5:00 pm
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – In the future, small paper and plastic devices will be able to connect to the internet for a short duration, providing information on everything from healthcare to consumer products ...
- Modular biobattery plant turns a wide range of biomass into energyon February 28, 2019 at 4:00 pm
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Energy and Safety Technology have developed a "biobattery" in the form of a highly efficient biogas plant that can turn raw materials like ...
- Paperback bacteria biobattery folds for different power levelson December 21, 2018 at 4:00 pm
With the aim of producing low-cost, portable, disposable batteries for use in remote areas, researchers at Binghamton University in New York have been developing paper-based, bacteria-powered fuel ...
- Scientists create stretchable battery made entirely out of fabricon December 6, 2017 at 4:00 pm
BINGHAMTON, NY – A research team led by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York has developed an entirely textile-based, bacteria-powered biobattery that could one day be ...
- Waste-to-Energy Revolution Boosted by Biobattery Ideaon March 4, 2015 at 7:53 am
Competition to make bio-fuels out of waste products that would otherwise have to be dumped is creating a fast-growing, worldwide industry. And a German research organisation now believes it has ...
- The biobattery: Turning sewage sludge into electricity and engine oilon February 27, 2015 at 10:00 am
Sewage sludge, green waste, production residue from the food industry, straw or animal excrement – with the biobattery‘s modular concept a much larger range of biomass can be utilized for energy ...
- The biobatteryon February 27, 2015 at 6:57 am
(Nanowerk News) Sewage sludge, green waste, production residue from the food industry, straw or animal excrement – with the "biobattery‘s" modular concept a much larger range of biomass can be ...
- The biobatteryon February 26, 2015 at 4:00 pm
Scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Energy and Safety Technology UMSICHT have now succeeded in considerably improving the efficiency of biogas plants. The biobattery process ...
via Bing News