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FUTURE OF BATTERIES- PAPER BATTERY

  • Amruta Bhaskar
  • Feb 12, 2020
  • 0 comment(s)

Batteries are so prevalent today that they're almost invisible to us. Still, they are a remarkable invention with a storied history and an equally exciting future.

Batteries are part of our everyday life. We would not last a single day without using our handphones, we use a remote control to switch channels while watching television. We unconsciously bump with batteries in everyday events.

The battery is a device used to generate electrical energy. It powers handphones, remote control, flashlights, hearing aids and helps cars to start easily. The electric energy stored in the Batteries is operated even by the Automobiles today. All the electric- vehicles derive power from battery packs and do not use gasoline.

Portability is what makes batteries so important. Can you imagine using your cameras, flashlights, handphones, remote control, wristwatches and cars plugged into electrical outlets? This would be annoying and difficult. The ease brought by batteries led to the invention of more gadgets, appliances and equipment.

We can fully grasp the use of batteries when the electricity goes out. They allow us to operate our handphones, laptop, mp3 players and alarm clocks whenever and wherever we are, you just have to remember to keep your batteries charged at all times, no matter what the situation is.

Batteries continue to exist with us for a long time.  Alessandro Volta was the first Italian physicist who invented the first true battery in 1800. Volta stacked discs of zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) separated by a cloth soaked in salty water. The term 'battery' was first used by Benjamin Franklin, an American scientist and inventor in 1749 when he was experimenting with electricity using a set of linked capacitors. 

One of the most surviving batteries, the lead-acid battery, that was invented in 1859 and the technology is still used to start most of the internal combustion engine cars today and also it is the oldest example of a rechargeable battery.

Today batteries come in a range of moderate sizes and shapes from large Megawatt sizes to a watt, one among those is the Paper Battery.

A paper battery is an energy source which is more thin and flexible. This device is a combination of cellulose-based paper and carbon nanotubes.  The paper battery can act in two ways. A battery as well as a supercapacitor. These flexible, non-toxic, batteries can be used as a power source to next-generation medical devices, electronic devices, hybrid vehicles, etc.

 A research team conducted by Dr Robert Linhardt, Dr.Omkaram Nalamasu and Dr.Pulickel Ajayan developed the Paper battery in August 2007 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

At Stanford University in December 2009, Yi Cui and his research team successfully invented the original working prototype that provides 1.5 V as its terminal voltage.

Working

There's a lot of separate components found in a normal battery, while all these components are made to a single unit in a paper battery which makes it more energy efficient.

The main components of a paper battery are carbon nanotubes having thickness one-millionth of a centimetre. The presence of carbon is the reason for the thick black colour for the battery. These nanotube films act as the electrodes which are embedded in the cellulose-based paper, soaked in ionic electrolytic liquid. The electrolyte does not contain any water content. It can be used in any environmental conditions as there is nothing to freeze or evaporate. Power is produced even if the battery is folded or cut.

The manufacturing process of the battery happens in 7 simple steps or stages.

Step1: A black carbon ink is applied on a cellulose-based paper.
Step2: This ink is then spread on the paper.
Step3:  A thin film is laminated over the cellulose surface after the ink has been spread.
Step4: The cellulose paper is then heated for 5 mins at 80 degrees Celcius.
Step5: The paper is then peeled off from the substrate.
Step6: A film forms the electrodes of the paper battery. The electrolytes LCO and LTO are connected to different films.
Step7: The battery is checked for its functionality by connecting the battery terminals to the LED.


ADVANTAGES

The paper battery is Light, flexible, rugged, can be cut, crunched, rolled, made into any shape. The nanocomposite paper is compatible with a number of electrolytes, like blood, urine, sweat etc. If stack 500 sheets are stacked together in a ream, that's 500 times the voltage and if we rip the paper in half we cut power by 50%. By doing so, we can control the voltage and power issue.

The paper batteries are Non-toxic and hence can be used to power pacemakers and RF tags. There is no moisture present in the electrolyte, thus there’s nothing in the batteries to freeze or evaporate, potentially allowing operation in extreme temperatures. The organic radical materials inside the battery are in an "electrolyte-permeated gel state,“ which helps ions make a smooth move, allowing the batteries to charge at lightning speeds, It could charge 10-20 times faster than conventional Li-ion batteries. Paper Battery would be the answer to Electrical Energy Storage Problems. These environment-friendly, no toxic devices can be used as an energy source for the next-generation electronic devices, medical devices, and hybrid vehicles, etc.

 

DISADVANTAGES

They can be 'torn' easily as they have Low Shear strength, the Set-ups and the techniques used in the production of Carbon Nanotubes are less Efficient and very Expensive

These are:

1.   Arc discharge

2.   Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)

3.   Laser Ablation

4.   Electrolysis

It is also seriously hazardous to human health as the  Microphages present in the lungs is similar to that with Asbestos fibres when inhaled or interacted.

After analysis of paper battery, it can be said that the major component of the paper battery is the cost is kept economical the batteries will revolutionize the electronics industry. The shear strength of a paper battery can be increased by adding glass fibre, resins, plastics etc. Further research is needed in nanotoxicology to make it non-hazardous for our health. A whole new world of possibilities and endless applications can be expected with the use of paper batteries which will one day change our daily lives.








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