Italy, Genoa – Hey Guys, Are you in search of a delectable and exciting meal idea? Why not try out some warm and crispy bread, coated in a mouthwatering garlic butter? Accompany it with a glass of fine wine for a perfect pairing. And for a unique and unforgettable twist, add a deliciously flavorful battery topping. Give your taste buds a treat they won’t forget with this delectable dish!
Well that is True! Scientists, Researchers at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italian Institute of Technology) in Genoa, Italy have successfully created the world’s first completely fully edible, rechargeable battery.
The cutting-edge battery technology incorporates a range of premium ingredients that will excite any food lover. The battery utilizes natural extracts from almonds, pomegranates, mushrooms, capers, seaweed, charcoal, and beeswax to create a unique and tantalizing flavor profile. Additionally, food-grade gold leaf is used in the electrodes, evoking images of fine dining. Although this battery’s taste may not be winning any culinary awards and isn’t exactly a gourmet or recommended addition to supper. Although, it could prove to be an essential component in the emerging field of edible electronics, catering primarily to medical devices and food safety solutions.
The innovation behind the edible battery was inspired by the electricity-generating ability of living organisms. These organisms utilize redox cofactors to power biochemical machinery, which served as the foundation for the research. Although the battery’s voltage output falls short of that produced by electric eels, it is a promising breakthrough in the field. The current prototype of the rechargeable battery generated 0.65 volts, maintaining a current of 48µA for 12 minutes. However, the researchers are diligently working on developing cells with higher capacity and density, so there is much to look forward to in the future of edible electronics.
Devices will be suitable for powering, include the following ingestible medical instruments –
- pH monitors
- Radio frequency filters
Used Ingredients and Method
The recently published Advanced Materials paper by IIT revealed that the edible battery’s anode was composed of riboflavin, while the cathode consisted of quercetin. These food-based materials were blended with activated carbon to facilitate the movement of electrons from and to the redox centers before being coated in beeswax. The battery’s electrolyte was a 1 mole aqueous solution of sodium hydrogen sulfate, which was separated using nori seaweed algae. The edible gold leaf was employed for current connectors. This unique combination of safe and natural ingredients creates a remarkable edible battery that could be a game-changer in the field of edible electronics.
At present, the miniature battery is capable of retaining its charge through several uses, but recharging must be done externally. However, the team believes that they can make the battery even smaller, resulting in less discomfort for patients during scanning procedures. Additionally, the researchers believe that the battery could be beneficial in monitoring food quality. When consumed with food, the battery could provide information that would determine if the food is safe to consume, and if not, it must be discarded.
Although the battery is not powerful enough to power electric cars, it demonstrates that safer materials than those used in current Li-ion batteries can be utilized for battery production, according to Ivan Ilic, one of the study’s co-authors.