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Power Paper - the paper that can store electricity

Innventia’s Hjalmar Granberg has helped to develop paper with an outstanding ability to store electricity. The material consists of nanocellulose and conductive polymer, and has generated a great deal of interest.

Hjalmar Granberg

Project manager Hjalmar Granberg at Innventia presented the findings in the journal Advanced Science, together with researchers from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Linköping University, the Technical University of Denmark and the University of Kentucky.

The demonstrated material is a rubber-like paper based on cellulose fibres that have been refined into nanocellulose at Innventia’s nanocellulose pilot facility. The nanocellulose is dispersed in water, and when an electrically conductive polymer is added the polymer forms a thin coating around the nanocellulose fibres.

The material has been used to manufacture a sheet fifteen centimetres in diameter and a few tenths of a millimetre thick that can store as much as 1 F, similar to the supercapacitors currently on the market. The material can be recharged hundreds of times, and charging only takes a couple of seconds. 

Hjalmar, how did you go about developing this paper?

We worked as a team and made use of each other’s expertise. One of the keys to the breakthrough was working with polymers in a wet state. This makes the cellulose flexible and adaptable, enabling us to build thick layers. We also created sufficient mechanical properties to be able to handle the rubber-like paper. 

What’s so great about this new material?
We have beaten four world records: 

  • The highest charge and capacitance in organic electronics: 1.2 Coulombs and 2 Farads respectively.
  • The highest measured current in an organic conductor: 1 Ampere.
  • The highest capacity to conduct both ions and electrons simultaneously.
  • The highest transconductance in a transistor (change in current depending on the voltage). We are the first to have measured values above 1 Siemens. The previous record was a few thousandths of a Siemens.

What are the prospects for the future?
We have a year of work left within the current Power Papers project, which is being financed by the Wallenberg foundations and RISE. In future, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) will finance the production of power papers, in which we will focus on production methods. There has been a great deal of interest since the press release was issued just about a week ago, and we have received enquiries from industrial players who are interested in implementing the technology. 

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