The Power Paper

A vision of the future with power paper, Image Credit: Thor Balkhed and Abdellah Malti, Linkoping University

A vision of the future with power paper, Image Credit: Thor Balkhed and Abdellah Malti, Linkoping University

Power is the energy that makes things around us function. Power can be electric power which makes our devices run. It can be solar power – energy of the sun, hydropower – energy of the water, or some other form of energy that we use in our daily lives. Paper, as we know are the sheets we write on.

What is power paper?

Is it a paper with ability to do something or act in a particular way? Power paper is nothing but a paper-thin battery! It looks like a very thin plastic sheet. It stores electric power like all the other batteries do. How does this super thin battery function? Can a battery as small as the size of your nail make your toy train run for hours? Can a battery as thin as paper make you battery cars run as fast as they do now? Or even faster?

The science behind the power paper

Scientists wanted to make a battery as thin as possible. So they used nanotechnology as the key. Nanotechnology is the science of extremely small particles. They used tiny cellulose particles. These particles are obtained from plant or vegetable matter. Then researchers used a special material to conduct electricity between these tiny particles. The particles were soaked in water solution with a coating(conducting) material. The solution filled the spaces between the particles making them capable of conducting electricity.

The mixture consists of nanocellulose and a conductive polymer, Image Credit: Linkoping University

The mixture consists of nanocellulose and a conductive polymer, Image Credit: Linkoping University

Do you know what are the materials that conduct electricity called? – Conductors!

How much energy can paper battery store?

A power paper cell can generate same amount of power as a watch or a calculator. That is not much right? But many power cells can be put together to generate more power. It’s definitely not small amount of electric current for a paper to store! Power paper has another huge advantage. It gets charged in merely in a few seconds. This will reduce the unavoidable time required to charge normal batteries.

How will it help in future?

In past few years, we have seen the size of our electronic devices getting smaller and smaller. From large computers to laptops to a smart phone of the size of our palm and even smaller. If the power supplies reduce in size, the size of gadgets can reduce even further. The Power paper will end the need to carry large powering devices. This battery can folded or wrapped around objects instead of need of a fixed casing. Gadget sizes can now be reduced to ultra-thin. Many devices like watches, small games use a small amount of power to operate. They can now use small power paper cells. New creative ideas can be discovered to make use of this amazing technology.

Flexible, strong paper batteries, Image Credit: www.youtube.com

Flexible, strong paper batteries, Image Credit: www.youtube.com

The power paper is all set to bring a change in the world of electrical power. The power paper will definitely make our technological needs easier. A sheet of special paper that has its own power. Cool, isn’t?  Now, there will be no need to wait for hours to get our batteries charged. No need to carry large batteries to charge our electronic devices.

It will also change the way we recycle our batteries. Disposing of paper batteries will be environment friendly as paper is biodegradable unlike plastic and metal. Power paper is definitely a great invention!

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