Biobatteries convert sugar to electricity
Printed electronics with an integrated power source have remarkable market potential in several mass-market consumer product areas. Enzyme-catalysed fuel cells are power sources capable of transforming the chemical energy of the fuel directly into electrical energy via electrochemical reactions.
Environment-friendly and biodegradable solutions
Biobatteries can be utilised in a broad range of applications, including miniaturised electronic devices, self-powered sensors, and portable electronics. For many applications, the power source should be biodegradable or able to be incinerated with normal household waste. Also, production costs should be reasonable. As an alternative power source, the miniaturised biological fuel cell has the potential to be developed to meet these demands.
The competitiveness of VTT in the development of printed biobatteries is fruit of a multidisciplinary combination of expertise in printed intelligence and power sources as well as of strong collaboration with partners. VTT has a strong background with several types of printing processes and has been concentrating on the design and manufacture of printable electrodes and bio-based power sources.
Printing-based techniques enable mass producible products at a low price. The possibility of using biodegradable materials in the printing process allows the power source to be fully disposable and environment-friendly. We have carried out several years of collaboration with the Process Chemistry Centre of Åbo Akademi, which has a strong background in development and analysis of materials for power sources as well as in research into combustion of various waste products, including household waste.
VTT's offering covers all stages of product development from development and production of the catalyst enzymes to power source performance characterisation and testing. Also, we are actively working with application integration of the biobattery and have demonstrated roll-to-roll manufacturing process development for the electrode layers.