Researchers at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) have created the world’s first edible battery. That is to say, they have developed a fully-rechargeable battery composed of 100% nontoxic components. The proof-of-concept is aimed at applications including edible soft robotics, children’s toys, pet toys, food quality monitoring, health diagnostics, and more.
The team of researchers were able to use an edible material for each and every component of the battery, and these materials are readily available and would not require additional effort to mine or procure.
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According to IIT’s report, “The battery cell operates at 0.65 V, a voltage low enough not to create problems in the human body when ingested. It can provide current of 48 μA for 12 minutes, or a few microamps for more than an hour, enough to supply power to small electronic devices, such as low-power LEDs, for a limited time.”
The researchers clarify that the battery isn’t meant to be ingested, but that it would not cause any health problems if it was.
“This edible battery is also very interesting for energy storage community. Building safer batteries, without usage of toxic materials, is a challenge we face as battery demand soars. While our edible batteries won’t power electric cars, they are a proof that batteries can be made from safer materials than current Li-ion batteries. We believe they will inspire other scientists to build safer batteries for truly sustainable future”, added Ivan Ilic, coauthor of the study.