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WHAT IF paper could store energy?

What if paper packaging could tell us if the food is fresh, what temperature the medicines have experienced during the transport and what products on the other side of the world are exposed to in this moment?

Soon it will be possible to store energy in a paper battery. With new techniques, it is possible for sensors to measure the key elements of packaged goods such as temperature, pressure, light and others. But for the sensors to be able to work, they need energy.

During the past year, BillerudKorsnäs and Uppsala University have worked together to develop such an energy source. Together we have taken basic research based on pure cellulose from algae and developed it to work with the same type of fibre that we usually use to manufacture paper and packaging.
To store and transport energy in a paper structure is revolutionary. Now, a battery will be able to be integrated into the paper structure itself.
Maria Strömme, Professor of Nanotechnology Ångström Laboratory of Uppsala University

Energy storage in paper instead of metal enables production of bio-based batteries that can be included in circular systems. With electrodes based on cellulose from wood fibre, the ambition is that in the future, it will be possible to recycle batteries along with their boxes and make them into new boxes or paper batteries, which would provide huge sustainability benefits.
For us, who work with sustainable packaging and packaging materials, the development of smart and active packaging means new possibilities. This can be the start of something completely new
Lars Sandberg, Project Manager Innovation at BillerudKorsnäs

By extension, this development opens up the possibility of eco-friendly batteries, with the long-term goal being large-scale production at a low price.

Q&A Paper Battery

What is the paper battery?

It is a battery with electrodes based on fibrous cellulose coated with an active material.

What can the paper battery do and how does it work?

It can store energy and, for example, enable energy storage in smart cartons.

Why does BillerudKorsnäs develop a paper battery?

The paper battery is a key piece of the puzzle for the long term development of smart packaging with many features, such as milk packages that tells when the milk is too old or a product packaging that tells if the package has been opened or damaged.

Will the paper battery be produced and if so when?

We have taken important steps in enabling the production of the material in our processes. The next step is to test and scale up production. In a few years, we may see the first application.

Who are involved in the project?

The paper battery is being developed in collaboration between researchers at Uppsala University and BillerudKorsnäs.

Read More

Unique collaboration takes important steps towards commercial battery made of paper

BillerudKorsnäs is working with Uppsala University to make energy storage in packaging materials and paper a reality.

Swedish research breaks new ground - closer to a commercial paper battery

Read the press release here.