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Compact, biodegradable battery under development at SFU

Mechatronics PhD student Omar Ibrahim (l) is working with newly named Canada Research Chair Erik Kjeang (r) to develop their patent-pending PowerPAD, a single use disposable battery. (Photo courtesy Simon Fraser University)

Activated with a few drops of water, the biodegradable battery can provide power for up to 100 minutes

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Researchers at Simon Fraser University are developing a compact battery you can throw in the compost when you’re done with it.

Activated with a few drops of water, the battery can provide power for up to 100 minutes, and can be used to run a variety of small devices.

SFU Professor Erik Kjeang explains the PowerPad (Power: Portable And Disposable) is made using organic materials such as cellulose, carbon and wax.

“Currently we have a research prototype in the lab, and it’s designed to deliver on the order of a few milliwatts of power and it lasts for a few hours.”

“It’s a disposable, single-use battery that works like any other disposable battery that people use everyday. The difference with this battery is that it’s biodegradable.”

The battery is being developed in partnership with Barcelona’s Institute of Microelectronics, and Kjeang says initially it could be used in the aftermath of disasters or in remote areas where power isn’t as accessible.