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Source: fuelium

These Paper Fuel Cells Are Way Cheaper And Greener Than Regular Batteries

By Brian Spaen

Many disposable diagnostic devices, often used for pregnancy tests and glucose level monitoring, contain a small lithium battery. Only one percent of that charge is used before the item is tossed away. While batteries are small in size, their impact on the environment can be significant. That's why Juan Pablo Esquivel created a new paper battery, Fuelium.

Since beginning his career at the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Mexico, Esquivel has wanted to make things cheaper and easier. He’s been working with fuel cells, similar to the technology used in some electric cars, but on a much smaller scale. It led to the development of paper-based batteries and finding the perfect opportunity to use them.

Instead of using a traditional lithium battery, intertwining sensors and displays with paper as a base material created a self-powering system when a chemical reaction occurs. That development led to the founding Fuelium in 2015. Single-use in-vitro diagnostics (IVD) applications, such as portable diagnostic tests, became an ideal match for the technology.