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How Paper Batteries Charged by Bacteria Could Power Internet of Things


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The single-use batteries.

A new paper-based single-use battery harnesses bacteria to generate an electric current, and then to consume the battery after its use.

Credit: Seokheun Choi

State University of New York at Binghamton (SUNY Binghamton) researchers have developed a paper-based single-use battery that harnesses bacteria to generate an electric current, and then to consume the battery after its use.

They created the biobattery by placing freeze-dried "exoelectrogens" on paper, which can transfer electrons outside of their cells. The addition of water or saliva serves to revive the bacteria and activate the battery, allowing electrons pass through the cell membrane and link with external electrodes to power the battery.

Under laboratory conditions, the battery produced a maximum power of 4 µW per square centimeter and current density of 26 µA per square centimeter.

The work could provide an inexpensive, sustainable way to power the billions of devices and sensors expected to come online as part of the Internet of Things.

From IEEE Spectrum
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