Scientists have developed a flexible battery that could run on saline solutions such as bodily fluids such as tears, sweat or even urine.
A new paper published on Thursday by researchers at Fudan University in Shanghai, China proposes a new technique for manufacturing batteries that would replace toxic chemicals with salt water.
The batteries could for a safer way to power wearable or implanted devices, the paper published in the the journal Chem proposes. Batteries typically consist of positive and negative electrodes separated by an electrolyte.
“Most existing energy storage systems are based on strong corrosive or toxic electrolytes, posing a huge safety hazard as a result of solution leakage,” the study authors write.
The research proposes two forms of flexible batteries: one shaped like a piece of tape with the electrodes separated by a thin sandwich layer, and one shaped like a threat with two nano-tube electrodes inside.
The scientists said that sodium sulfate, a non-toxic chemical often used in detergents, worked best as an electrolyte. But they added that a simple saline solution, or salt water like that of bodily fluids, also performed well. That could make the batteries ideal for implanted devices.