By Laura Shin
Posting in Environment
A new "bio-battery" that runs on shredded paper or cardboard produces enough power to run an mp3 player and is small enough to fit into one.
Our batteries are full of toxic chemicals and then pollute our environment when we trash them. Clearly, they can be improved.
That's why a new battery demonstrated by Sony at the Eco-Products conference in Tokyo is so exciting: It runs on shredded paper or cardboard and its only "waste" product is water.
The simple description of what happens is that the battery functions by a mechanism similar to the way termites digest wood. The slightly more detailed description is that a solution of water and enzymes eat the paper, breaking down the cellulose in it and generating a current.
The even more detailed version is that when the enzymes break down the paper, they create electrons and hydrogen ions; the hydrogen ions then combine with air to produce water, while the electrons create the current.
In the demonstration, the battery was used to power a small fan.
This isn't the first biological-type battery. One previous model was used to power a pacemaker, and Sony also developed sugar-powered batteries on 2007.
But what's significant about this biological battery is that it produces enough power to run most electronics for the length of time most consumers expect from gadgets nowadays. However, while Sony says this new battery can power an mp3 player, they didn't specify whether they mean a power sipper like the Zune or a power hog like the iPod Touch.
Another reason to herald this new battery development is that this battery is small enough to fit in a portable device. Oh, and lastly, let's not forget that if these become ubiquitous, we'll have fewer toxic chemicals in our landfills and in the gadgets we carry.
via: Discovery News
Dec 15, 2011
This is an amazing discovery! It is great that there are battery innovations using shredded paper strips. Hopefully, more research can be done so that this kind of battery can be available to everyone. More information regarding shredded paper strips can be found in http://www.houstonshredding.com
If this process is using the same enzymes as produced by the bacteria in a termite's gut, then it also produces methane gas. Termites digesting cellulose and creating methane as a by-product are actually one of the biggest non-human contributors to global warming. Nothing in this article indicates that they have found a way around the methane production.
It's not the first day of April so, assuming this is a serious attempt to slash pollution, let's hope it doesn't disappear like cold fusion did when it was realised that scientists 'fudged' their results...
How much energy is consumed shredding the paper,compared to how much is saved? Is this better for the enviroment all the way around?
If this pulls through, we can definitely see less waste paper and cleaner landfills. The big question now is if the developers think it's a feasible money-making venture to wager capital to fund it. Let's cross our fingers for more variety in the alternative power source sector. Juan Miguel Ruiz (Going Green) http://www.GreenJoyment.com
Comparing the cost of shredding paper to the cost of making conventional batteries? You're kidding, right? Think this through a little more.
It doesn't really go into what size the paper chunks need to be in; I'm sure a pair of scissors (or hands...) would do pretty well to reduce the paper to the correct size without investing in an electric paper shredder.
Easy solution. Give the paper to a group of rug rats and tell them not to tear it. Voila! problem solved immediately.