Green Algae ushers in paper batteries

After nanofarming of algae to suck out oil from algae, now nano batteries from algae!

Scientists are working on the development of paper-based batteries made from algae to power electronics in the future.

A report in Live Science says that scientists from around the world are working towards developing thin, flexible, lightweight, inexpensive, environmentally friendly batteries made wholly from nonmetal parts. Among the most hopeful materials for these batteries are conducting polymers.

However, until now these are not viable for use in batteries – for example, their ability to hold a charge often reduces over use. The answer to this new battery turned out to be green algae called Cladophora. This algae makes an unusual kind of cellulose characterised by a very large surface area ? 100 times that of the cellulose found in paper.

This permitted the researchers to considerably increase the amount of conducting polymer available for use in the new device, allowing it to recharge better, hold and discharge electricity.
That is very interesting.

“We have long hoped to find some sort of constructive use for the material from algae blooms and have now been shown this to be possible,” said researcher Maria Stromme, a nanotechnologist at the famous Uppsala University, Sweden.

The new batteries comprised extremely thin layers of conducting polymer just 40 to 50 nanometers in width, coating algae cellulose fibres only 20 to 30 nanometers wide that were gathered into paper sheets.

They could hold 50-200 percent more charge than similar conducting polymer batteries and once better optimised, they might even be competitive with commercial lithium batteries, the researchers noted. They also recharged much faster than the usual rechargeable batteries.

Recharge in quick time:

While a regular battery takes at least an hour to recharge, the new batteries could recharge in 8-11 seconds. The new battery also showed a remarkable increase in the ability to hold a charge over use.

While a comparable polymer battery showed a 50 percent dip in the amount of charge it could hold after 60 cycles of discharging and recharging, the new battery showed just a 6% dip through 100 charging cycles. The researchers proposed that their batteries may be suitable for applications concerning flexible electronics like clothing and packaging.

Imagine a thin birthday card singing a song! These paper batteries are environmental friendly.

Read More: