Swedish Scientists Develop Salt and Cellulose Battery

A single paper battery cell delivers 1 volt and can store up to 25 milliwatt-hours of energy per gram, a fraction of that available in lithium ion batteries.

Published: 15-Sep-2009

Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden have made a flexible battery using two common, cheap ingredients: cellulose and salt. The lightweight, rechargeable battery uses thin pieces of paper--pressed mats of tangled cellulose fibers--for electrodes, while a salt solution acts as the electrolyte.

The new battery should be cheap, easy to manufacture, and environmentally benign, says lead researcher Maria Stromme. She suggests that it might be used to power cheap medical diagnostics devices or sensors on packaging materials or embedded into fabric. "You don't need advanced equipment to make the batteries," Stromme says, "so they could be made on site in developing countries."

The new battery uses a type of rechargeable thin-film design that many other researchers and companies have been working on for several years.

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