A research scholar of IIT-Kharagpur has developed a disposable and flexible battery powered by bacteria from sewage water, the institute said in a statement. For the environment-friendly battery cell to start energy production, sewage water containing bacteria needs to be injected into it. The project won the first prize and a cash award of Rs. 10 lakh in an Innovation Contest recently.
The battery is made using air cathode and the anode can be prepared from any simple carbon-based materials. Currently, the power from the device is in the range of few microwatts. Stacking multiple devices can further boost the power and drive several practical applications. Unlike other batteries which are heavy, this device developed by Ramya Veerubhotla, is made on a paper platform.
Normally microbial fuel cells can take as long as a couple of days to start power production as the bacteria need to get adjusted to the environment. "But for this device, the power production starts within 10sec," said Ramya, PhD student in the Department of Biotechnology. "It may be difficult to power household devices with this device, but it can power certain electronic-components," she added.
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