UPPSALA, Sweden, Sept. 24 (UPI) — Swedish scientists say they have developed a battery made of cellulose that might become an inexpensive battery of the future.
Research scientist Albert Mihranyan and colleagues at Uppsala University noted scientists have been trying to develop light, ecofriendly inexpensive batteries consisting entirely of non-metal parts. The most promising materials include so-called conductive polymers or “plastic electronics.”
One conductive polymer, polypyrrole, known as PPy, showed promise, but was often regarded as too inefficient for commercial batteries.
But Mihranyan and his colleagues realized that by coating PPy on a large surface area substrate and carefully tailoring the thickness of the coating, both the charging capacity and discharging rates could be drastically improved.
The innovative design of the battery cell was surprisingly simple, they said, yet very elegant since both of the electrodes consist of identical pieces of the composite paper separated by an ordinary filter paper soaked with sodium chloride serving as the electrolyte.
The researchers said their battery recharges faster than conventional rechargeable batteries and appears well-suited for applications involving flexible electronics, such as clothing and packaging.
The research is described in the Oct. 14 issue of the journal Nano Letters.
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