Researchers make rechargeable energy-storing paper

Researchers at Linkoping University have created a new type of paper they call "power paper" that is able to store energy. In addition to storing energy, this paper — which is made from nano cellulose and a conductive polymer — can also be recharged. Power paper, despite its abilities, is made from polymer said to be "easily available", and the cellulose itself is renewable. This could lead to more sustainable, environmentally friendly ways of storing energy that are safer than existing battery technology.

The paper, as you probably guessed from the images, is said to have a plastic feel to it, and it is waterproof, making it more durable than ordinary paper. It is unique in its ability to store energy, though. A sheet that is 15 centimeters cross and very thin is able to store up to 1 F of energy. Each charging only takes a few seconds, and this can be done hundreds of times before needing replaced.

The paper is made using cellulose fibers placed in water alongside an electrically charged polymer. This polymer coats the fiber in a thin layer, and the water serves as the electrolyte. The resulting energy storage paper is not dangerous, is free of heavy metals and acid, and is durable enough to be folded.

Thicker sheets can be produced for storing higher amounts of energy. The big issue at this point is scaling the process up to industrial levels, something that will be tackled in due time. The researchers recently received funding from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research for continuing work with the paper.

SOURCE: Linköping University