Swedish scientists from the Linköping University’s Laboratory of Organic Electronics have made a breakthrough in alternative energy by developing a piece of paper that is able to store energy. The thin black material, now known as “power paper”, challenges the possibilities of what paper can do.
The paper is able to store the same amount of electricity as most electric devices powered by static energy. It is 0.5 millimetres thin, measures 15 centimetres in diameter and is strong enough to be folded into an origami bird. Scientists say that it feels like plastic but it has many of the same properties as paper.
The research team made the paper by breaking down the cellulose fibres with high-pressure water. The tiny fibres are added to an electrically charged water solution, which forms a fine coating over the fibres.
The scientists believe that paper could have a legitimate impact on how we store energy, charge small electronics and even power larger devices. Unlike batteries that work off toxic, chemical-based electricity, the power paper is made from renewable cellulose and a readily available polymer. The single challenge for the scientists is finding a sustainable manufacturing process to develop the paper on a large scale.