Ramya Veerubhotla, a Ph.D. student in the biotechnology department of IIT Kharagpur, has created a disposable and flexible battery powered by bacteria from sewage water.
It is an environment-friendly cell which starts the energy production by injecting sewage water containing bacteria into it.
“Normally microbial fuel cells (MFCs) can take as long as a couple of days to start power production as the bacteria needs to get adjusted to the environment. But for this device, the power production starts within 10 seconds, that is, almost immediately,” a statement issued by the institute said.
At present, the power from the device is in the range of few microwatts. It can be boosted further by stacking multiple devices which will help drive several practical applications. Unlike other heavy batteries, this device is made on a paper platform using air cathode and the anode can be prepared from any simple carbon-based materials.
Veerubhotla’s research paper from IITKGP’s ‘Team Electrodes’ at KPIT Sparkle 2018, won the first prize and a cash award of Rs 10 lakh, the statement said.
“One of the best advantages of the device is that it is 100 percent biodegradable and environment-friendly, which is not the case with chemical batteries,” her mentor Professor Debabrata Das said.