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Consumer Technology batteries

Published on October 31st, 2008 | by Ariel Schwartz

55

World's First Chlorophyll Organic Battery Runs on Any Liquid

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October 31st, 2008 by  

batteries

Professor Chungpin Hovering Liao of National Formosa University in Taiwan has created the world’s first chlorophyll organic battery. The battery can use any liquid—even urine—to power up. It doesn’t take much time to start juicing the battery, either. Within 10 seconds of being doused with liquid, the battery starts providing power.

The battery’s flexibility does come with a catch: it only produces half the power of a conventional battery . But its power generation capabilities are still formidable—the chlorophyll battery reportedly can store more energy than Japan’s water-powered fuel cells.

Professor Liao’s battery also has the low production cost of NT$1 to NT$2 (US$.03 to US$.06). And unlike conventional batteries, it doesn’t contain toxic substances.

Stay tuned for more info about the invention—Liao is currently in the process of applying for patents in Taiwan and the United States.

Photo Credit: Taiwan News

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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.



  • Cleve Hines

    I am student at the Northern Caribbean University. I remember doing a project like this in 2010.

  • Akshay

    i would love your help

  • Akshay jain

    can you tell me how it works because i’ve been searching information on chlorophyll from last year … but couldn’t make a battery like this. It would be of great help .

  • http://www.tipstolosingweight.net Carter Bureau

    Hi – really good website you have made. I had fun reading this posting. I had an urge to write a remark to tell you that the design of this website is very aesthetically pleasing. I used to be a graphic designer, now I am a copy editor for a merchandising firm. I have always enjoyed playing with computing machines and am attempting to educate myself in website building in my free time (which there is never enough of lol).

  • Jermaine Dunn

    I have an invention using chlorophyll to generate energy. i am from Jamaica and i attend the College of Agricculture Science and Education. if there is any help that i can recieve to better this project i anticipate it.

  • Smither

    The power doesn’t come from the liquid. It just needs to be wet to run.

    Since the alternative liquid they give (even urine!) is almost entirely water, I doubt the claim that it can use any liquid. Does it work with oil? Mercury? Liquid hydrogen?

    Also, Michael is retarded. Fuel cells don’t store energy? Perhaps not as electricity, but neither do batteries.

  • Smither

    The power doesn’t come from the liquid. It just needs to be wet to run.

    Since the alternative liquid they give (even urine!) is almost entirely water, I doubt the claim that it can use any liquid. Does it work with oil? Mercury? Liquid hydrogen?

    Also, Michael is retarded. Fuel cells don’t store energy? Perhaps not as electricity, but neither do batteries.

  • ugger

    if this is anygood, the patent will be bought out by big oil…….then if it goes into production, the cost will be sky-high; big oil needs it’s profits…

  • ugger

    if this is anygood, the patent will be bought out by big oil…….then if it goes into production, the cost will be sky-high; big oil needs it’s profits…

  • Alex

    Any liquid? Why can’t you just leave it in the sea?

  • Alex

    Any liquid? Why can’t you just leave it in the sea?

  • Alex

    Any liquid? Why can’t you just leave it in the sea?

  • http://www.onlinedocumentaries4u.com Scott

    Great post…these innovations blow my mind because they ultimately mean a collapse of market share for the monopolising business cartels of the planet.

    Check out great science documentaries at my site…

    http://www.onlinedocumentaries4u.com/

  • http://www.onlinedocumentaries4u.com Scott

    Great post…these innovations blow my mind because they ultimately mean a collapse of market share for the monopolising business cartels of the planet.

    Check out great science documentaries at my site…

    http://www.onlinedocumentaries4u.com/

  • http://www.onlinedocumentaries4u.com Scott

    Great post…these innovations blow my mind because they ultimately mean a collapse of market share for the monopolising business cartels of the planet.

    Check out great science documentaries at my site…

    http://www.onlinedocumentaries4u.com/

  • Uncle B

    As the (GRD) great republican depression deepens, Americans, the greatest consumer market in the world, will learn to restrain themselves. The GRD will cause huge sociological and psychological changes in America, and already has changed some things – We will soon seek out economical, green products. A non-toxic green and cheap battery looks very promising for the future. If it stores well before liquid addition, and is simple to energize, we may have a winner!

  • Uncle B

    As the (GRD) great republican depression deepens, Americans, the greatest consumer market in the world, will learn to restrain themselves. The GRD will cause huge sociological and psychological changes in America, and already has changed some things – We will soon seek out economical, green products. A non-toxic green and cheap battery looks very promising for the future. If it stores well before liquid addition, and is simple to energize, we may have a winner!

  • Uncle B

    As the (GRD) great republican depression deepens, Americans, the greatest consumer market in the world, will learn to restrain themselves. The GRD will cause huge sociological and psychological changes in America, and already has changed some things – We will soon seek out economical, green products. A non-toxic green and cheap battery looks very promising for the future. If it stores well before liquid addition, and is simple to energize, we may have a winner!

  • Carl

    I think someone should make the point that nowhere does it say that this is ‘recharged’ with water. It sounds like it is activated with water (and is not rechargable). If this is the case there’s no point scalling it up unless the production carbon cost is also low (which it may be if it is extracted from plants, but I don’t know that). Now if you could recharge it (putting it in the sun would be a cool option). Then reactivate it by putting it in water again there would be a cool product, assuming a low carbon footprint and reasonable power denisty.

    I’m not knocking the product it could be a good replacement for conventional AA’s etc. But you gotta keep your feet on the ground, and see a product for what it is.

  • Carl

    I think someone should make the point that nowhere does it say that this is ‘recharged’ with water. It sounds like it is activated with water (and is not rechargable). If this is the case there’s no point scalling it up unless the production carbon cost is also low (which it may be if it is extracted from plants, but I don’t know that). Now if you could recharge it (putting it in the sun would be a cool option). Then reactivate it by putting it in water again there would be a cool product, assuming a low carbon footprint and reasonable power denisty.

    I’m not knocking the product it could be a good replacement for conventional AA’s etc. But you gotta keep your feet on the ground, and see a product for what it is.

  • Mark Holder

    Very interesting, but lots of questions remain.

    – How long will it remain viable before you add water?

    – It’s organic… What is it’s working temp range?

    – Voltage varies during discharge, what’s the curve?

    Could be useful for emergencies. Stored in a life preserver or life boat to run the radio beacon.

  • Mark Holder

    Very interesting, but lots of questions remain.

    – How long will it remain viable before you add water?

    – It’s organic… What is it’s working temp range?

    – Voltage varies during discharge, what’s the curve?

    Could be useful for emergencies. Stored in a life preserver or life boat to run the radio beacon.

  • Patrick Dent

    What i meant was this:

    Hydrogen into car -> hydrogen drives engine, makes wheels turn -> engine produces water -> water flows into chlorophyll batteries, makes MORE power for lights/radio/GPS etc.

    You digg?

  • Patrick Dent

    What i meant was this:

    Hydrogen into car -> hydrogen drives engine, makes wheels turn -> engine produces water -> water flows into chlorophyll batteries, makes MORE power for lights/radio/GPS etc.

    You digg?

  • Patrick Dent

    Couldn’t the output of a hydrogen-powered engine ie WATER, by routed to a bank of these chlorophyll batteries to power the electic systems in a hydrogen car (lights, radio etc)leaving the total electical energy of the hydrogen engine to power the car’s motors, thereby making it more economical with the hydrogen?

  • http://www.ntopics.com ntopics

    This is great news. I have been concerned

    about battery pollutants for energy

    storage in the mountains of Italy.

    Perhaps when I am ready to generate solar

    power that energy could be stored in

    low toxic batteries.

    thank you from tony

  • http://www.ntopics.com ntopics

    This is great news. I have been concerned

    about battery pollutants for energy

    storage in the mountains of Italy.

    Perhaps when I am ready to generate solar

    power that energy could be stored in

    low toxic batteries.

    thank you from tony

  • http://www.artformfunction.com Michael

    Ah, Fuel cells do not store energy, they transform fuel into electricity.

  • http://www.artformfunction.com Michael

    Ah, Fuel cells do not store energy, they transform fuel into electricity.

  • http://blog.thomaslaupstad.com Norway Photos

    I hope this works out. You often hear about products that will revolutionize the green marked, but you never hear from them again..

  • http://blog.thomaslaupstad.com Norway Photos

    I hope this works out. You often hear about products that will revolutionize the green marked, but you never hear from them again..

  • http://digg.com Beal

    just think….road trip……half-rack……pissing on the battery when it runs out.

  • http://digg.com Beal

    just think….road trip……half-rack……pissing on the battery when it runs out.

  • Patrick Dent

    Couldn’t the output of a hydrogen-powered engine ie WATER, by routed to a bank of these chlorophyll batteries to power the electic systems in a hydrogen car (lights, radio etc)leaving the total electical energy of the hydrogen engine to power the car’s motors, thereby making it more economical with the hydrogen?

  • Sheldon

    “And unlike conventional batteries, it doesn’t contain toxic substances.”

    Yeah unless you urinate in it.

  • Sheldon

    “And unlike conventional batteries, it doesn’t contain toxic substances.”

    Yeah unless you urinate in it.

  • Ra

    If this technology is scalable, imagine it as a replacement to fossil fuels in vehicles! Just drive up to your local “gas” station and fill up your tank with Miracle Grow (or whatever food the batteries need). Unlimited range in an electric vehicle! Woohoo!

    Of course, that’s assuming you wouldn’t have to replace the batteries after 10 recharges or so.

  • Ra

    If this technology is scalable, imagine it as a replacement to fossil fuels in vehicles! Just drive up to your local “gas” station and fill up your tank with Miracle Grow (or whatever food the batteries need). Unlimited range in an electric vehicle! Woohoo!

    Of course, that’s assuming you wouldn’t have to replace the batteries after 10 recharges or so.

  • methinks

    I think the true innovation here is the fact that the battery costs to produce are about 100x cheaper than conventional batteries. This outweights the early development issues. Of course, if the fluid type were calibrated there could be orders of magnitude of efficiency.. say distilled water for example.

  • methinks

    I think the true innovation here is the fact that the battery costs to produce are about 100x cheaper than conventional batteries. This outweights the early development issues. Of course, if the fluid type were calibrated there could be orders of magnitude of efficiency.. say distilled water for example.

  • errr

    eliminate two things at same time. not having to pull over to pee or fill up on gas.

  • errr

    eliminate two things at same time. not having to pull over to pee or fill up on gas.

  • Alan

    this discovery will disappear like other battery technology. The oil companies will buy the patent and lock it away.

  • Alan

    this discovery will disappear like other battery technology. The oil companies will buy the patent and lock it away.

  • Ender

    Any liquid? Even water or mercury?

  • Ender

    Any liquid? Even water or mercury?

  • http://www.funnycoolstuff.com Maria

    Great, but I’m still waiting for the best rechargeable battery solution. ^^

  • http://www.funnycoolstuff.com Maria

    Great, but I’m still waiting for the best rechargeable battery solution. ^^

  • James Deason

    Wow, now THAT is truly an amazing breakthrough is it not? Amazing.

    Jiff

    http://www.Privacy-Center.net

  • James Deason

    Wow, now THAT is truly an amazing breakthrough is it not? Amazing.

    Jiff

    http://www.Privacy-Center.net

  • Just watching

    In ten or twenty years!!!

  • Just watching

    In ten or twenty years!!!

  • Seamus Dubh

    Look at this in a larger scale. Not AA’s but car type and larger.

    Used as an emergency power system. Or alongside hydroelectric plants. Or even in you backyard hooked to you rain gutters.

  • Seamus Dubh

    Look at this in a larger scale. Not AA’s but car type and larger.

    Used as an emergency power system. Or alongside hydroelectric plants. Or even in you backyard hooked to you rain gutters.

    • noble

      what are the battery’s composition??

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