We are becoming more conscious about the state of our environment. One big problem related to this is the presence of disposable batteries. They’re very difficult to recycle and also contain toxic materials that are harmful to the environment. This is where BeFC comes in. They’ve been working on an ecological alternative to conventional batteries for a while, and have developed an organic battery using paper and materials such as cellulose and carbon.
BeFC got started when the four co-founders — Dr. Jules Hammond, Prof. Jean-Francis Bloch, Dr. Michael Holzinger, and Dr. Andrew Gross — decided to develop innovative, ecological batteries and looked to biology for their inspiration. The human body generates energy through sugars and oxygen naturally present in the blood. Additionally, they wanted this new device to be wearable, and the material they chose needed to contain minuscule amounts of liquids and move them around. Because of this, they chose paper as the main material.
They tested their prototypes in digital pregnancy and ovulation tests which produced successful results. Then, with Dr. Marie Berthuel‘s help, the BeFC organic battery managed to make it into several different technology and innovation conventions, eventually landing at CES 2020. Ever since then, they’ve won CES’s innovation award for three years in a row.
How it works
As mentioned before, the BeFC organic battery works on the same principle as the energy produced by the human body. The battery converts abundant biofuels such as glucose and oxygen into electricity through enzymes. The electricity generated this way can power sensors, microcontrollers, and wireless communication modules on the same device.
Additionally, since the batteries are made of paper, their shape and size can be easily modified. Adapting them to any given device only requires simple design modifications. This makes them biodegradable and much more environmentally friendly than conventional batteries.
BeFC’s organic battery looks like a very interesting innovation, and possibly a very helpful one. It’s always intriguing to see new ways in which we can achieve many of the things we do today in more environmentally friendly ways. Maybe in the future, this kind of ecological battery will power all kinds of devices.
YouTube: BeFC presentation: Get an insight into our innovative biofuel cell technology
Photo credit: The images used are owned by BeFC and have been provided for press usage.