Linköping University

Plant-Based, Freely Deformable, and High-Performance Organic Batteries for Sustainable Power Sources in Upcoming IoT World

  • Energy
  • Structures
Academic project

Research question

Despite the exponential growth of battery demand, current battery systems based on scarce and toxic metals pose significant sustainability concerns during production and while handling their wastes at the end of life. Thus, our project aims to develop ecofriendly, deformable, and biodegradable batteries by using plant-based organic materials to power electronics within the fast-growing areas of wearables and Internet of Things (IoT). The detailed objectives include i) to extract redox molecules from plants and synthesize biocompatible/biodegradable organic materials, ii) to formulate soft and elastic composites for battery components, iii) to develop manufacturing processes for device assembly and integration. Materials and devices will be characterized with respect to electrical, ionic, structural, electrochemical, and mechanical properties and performances.

Sustainability aspects

The raw materials considered in this project are all-organic, bioderived and/or biodegradable, and will be processed mostly from aqueous solutions at RT or temperature <100 °C. Therefore, both the materials and manufacturing processes are cheap, easy to access, and ecofriendly. Since it is cheap and biodegradable, the device at the end of life can be easily disposed, either buried and decomposed or burned up, which means that its waste would not be a big issue and that no energy is needed for dedicated collection or recycling. Therefore, this technique will have a minimal environmental impact during the entire life cycle and will contribute to facilitate sustainable growth of IoT by replacing environmentally and economically problematic Li-ion batteries in small wearables, sensors, signal devices, to name a few.

researcher photo

Linköping University

Nara Kim

Assistant Professor

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