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Power Paper — Storing Electricity in Paper

Posted in Technology

Researchers at Linköping University’s Laboratory of Organic Electronics, Sweden, have developed power paper—a new material with an outstanding ability to store energy. The material consists of nanocellulose and a conductive polymer. The results have been published in Advanced Science.

The so-called “power paper” was made from cellulose fibers that were subjected to high-pressure water until they broke down into fibers as thin as 20 nanometers in diameter. Next, the fibers were coated in an electrically charged polymer and fashioned into a round sheet. A six-inch piece of power paper of about a tenth of an inch thick can store 1F (farad), a similar capacity to supercapacitors now on the market.

power paper stores electricity

The paper is also lightweight, waterproof and can be produced in thick sheets. It requires none of the heavy metals or toxic materials that are found in many traditional batteries and capacitors. The team even managed to create an origami swan from the paper, a testament to the strength and flexibility of the material.

It’s a dream product in a world where the increased use of renewable energy requires new methods for energy storage—from summer to winter, from a windy day to a calm one, from a sunny day to one with heavy cloud cover.

“Thin films that function as capacitors have existed for some time. What we have done is to produce the material in three dimensions. We can produce thick sheets,” says Xavier Crispin, professor of organic electronics and co-author to the article just published in Advanced Science.

Other co-authors are researchers from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Innventia, Technical University of Denmark and the University of Kentucky. The material, power paper, looks and feels like a slightly plasticky paper and the researchers have amused themselves by using one piece to make an origami swan—which gives an indication of its strength.

The results were published in the journal Advanced Science. Creating a method to mass-produce the power paper. In fact, the researchers just received funding to develop a paper machine that will output the material.

via: phys.org and Discovery

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