Sony develops battery powered by paper

At Eco-Products 2011 show in Tokyo, Sony shows off a prototype battery that gets its power from shredded paper.

AFP

Termites--those pesky insects that you fear might invade and destroy your home--may actually be responsible for the new wave of eco-friendly batteries, if Sony has anything to do with it.

At the Eco-Products 2011 exhibition in Tokyo, Sony showed off a bio-battery prototype that gets its power from shredded paper. In the demo, pieces of paper and cardboard were dropped into a water mixture to magically turn on a small fan. Instead of magic though, the Japanese electronics company took a lesson from nature.

Similar to the way termites and white ants digest wood and convert it into energy, Sony uses an enzyme called cellulase in the water mixture to break down the paper to glucose sugar. The sugar is then processed by additional enzymes and oxygen and converted to hydrogen ions and electrons, which provide the fuel for the battery.

Though the bio-battery isn't as powerful as the batteries available on the market today, it does have enough juice to run an MP3 player. However, it does show that an environmentally friendly battery is possible, as the bio-battery does not contain any harsh chemicals or metals.

This isn't the first time Sony has experimented with green battery technology, as the company showed off a sugar-powered battery back in 2007.

(Via BBC News)

About the author

Bonnie Cha was a former chief correspondent for CNET Crave, covering every kind of tech toy imaginable (with a special obsession for robots and Star Wars-related stuff). When she's not scoping out stories, you can find her checking out live music or surfing in the chilly waters of Northern California.

 

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