Collapsible Battery Is Powered By Dirty Water

Collapsible Battery Is Powered By Dirty Water

Two engineers have created an origami-like battery that generates energy via microbial metabolism

Jiwon Kim
  • 8 july 2016

Design and technology come together in a collapsible battery powered by water filled with bacteria. The shape and material of this battery is inspired by the popular Japanese paper art known as origami. Only a drop of bacteria-filled water is enough to get this battery working. Although there has been an increase in research and inventions of bio batteries, this bio battery, developed by Binghamton Research, is unique in its own right.

The battery costs only around 5 cents to create. It helps that the material is mainly comprised of paper and can easily fold into the shape of a square. It is able to generate energy because bacteria-laden water acts as a catalyst. The batteries are portable and are comprised of completely sustainable parts. Unlike the chemical batteries mainly used today, these batteries do not negatively impact the environment or humans.

The engineers behind this creation are Seokheun Choi and Hankeun Lee from State University of New York, Binghamton. Their hope is that this bio battery will give people in remote regions, access to power like never before. They also recognize that the battery cannot provide as much energy as chemical batteries but still have the ability to provide energy for smaller devices.


This kind of invention can do wonders for areas that do not have any real structured energy source. It is easily affordable, transportable and usable. It is also an example of one of the numerous opportunities out there for renewable energy. More are surely to come as chemicals and fossil fuels continue to be rapidly depleted. There is a need for more sustainable, biodegradable resources that can provide necessary energy. This origami-like bio battery is just one creative way that addresses energy concerns.

Binghamton Research

+bacteria-laden water
+Binghamton Research
+Renewable energy

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