Power paper packs a punch
A sheet holds as much charge as a supercapacitor, now the question is how to make lots of it
RESEARCHERS at Linköping University’s Laboratory of Organic Electronics, Sweden, have published the results of a new
“power paper” in Advanced Science.
They report the power paper, which consists of nanocellulose and a conductive polymer, has an outstanding ability to store energy.
One sheet, 15 centimetres in diameter and a few tenths of a millimetre thick, can store as much as 1 Farad, which is similar to the supercapacitors currently on the market. The power paper can also be recharged hundreds of times and each charge only takes a few seconds.
Professor of organic electronics Xavier Crispin described the power paper as “a dream product in a world where the increased use of renewable energy requires new methods for energy storage”.
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.
Jesper Edberg, doctoral student who conducted the experiments together with Abdellah Malti, who recently completed his doctorate said the new cellulose-polymer material has set a new world record in simultaneous conductivity for ions and electrons, which explains its exceptional capacity for energy storage. It also opens the door to continued development toward even higher capacity.
Unlike the batteries and capacitors currently on the market, power paper is produced from simple materials — renewable cellulose and an easily available polymer. It is light in weight, it requires no dangerous chemicals or heavy metals and it is waterproof.
The Power Paper project has been financed by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation since 2012.
The next challenge is to develop power paper on an industrial scale.
The researchers have received SEK 34 million (R58 million) from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research to continue developing a machine to produce power paper.
Power paper being stretched to show its elasticity. Billed as a dream product for a powerhungry world, this piece of power paper holds as much charge as supercapacitors and can be recharged hundreds of times and each charge only takes a few seconds.