We may have been to Moon and back, but we still use those pencil size AA batteries which have poor life and are large in size.
Cost of manufacture of these batteries is estimated to be several billion $s every year, and the environment pollution caused is almost irreversible.
To counter this problem, conducting polymers have long been thought to be a solution in developing lightweight, flexible, nonmetal batteries. But up until now, these polymers have had been impractical because regular paper can’t hold enough of them work effectively.
Thanks to the new research by ppsala researcher Maria Stromme and her team surrounding the use of Cladophora (green algae) in a flexible, ultrathin alternative, it looks as if we may finally be onto a good Green Technology. Researchers purport that these super skinny cells could be placed in areas where batteries are currently unable to go. Wha tI can think of is all those charged wall sensors, energized clothing or even light-up wrapping paper.
Cladophora can also be used to make a type of cellulose that has 100 times the surface area of cellulose found in paper. That means it can hold enough conducting polymers to effectively recharge and hold electricity for long amounts of time.
The algae-based paper sheet batteries hold up to 200% more charge than regular paper-based cellulose batteries, and they can recharge in as little as 11 seconds. Eventually, they could be used in any application that requires flexible electronics — for example, clothing or packaging that lights up. Perhaps most importantly, the algae batteries could one day cut down on e-waste from conventional metal batteries.
Better still, prototypes have shown the ability to hold a significant charge, but unfortunately for us all, no specific production date has been pegged.