Would You Eat a Completely Edible Battery? Scientists Have Already Developed One
Parents spend a lot of time instructing their children not to put dangerous things into their mouths. If this applies to you, you may want to come up with a sound excuse for your kiddos if you choose to snack on this new battery!
The dissolvable battery produced by the Italian Institute of Technology was designed to aid in the powering of internal medical devices and can safely be consumed according to a 2023 research article. It uses a water-based solution for charging and discharging. Its positive end consists of riboflavin, while its negative end is made of quercetin. To make up additional essentials used in battery operation, it contains activated carbon, beeswax, edible gold, and nori algae (a form of seaweed.) This means that it won't be toxic if you or your toddler choose to swallow one - However, it might not taste great.
This combination of "ingredients" allows the battery to provide 48 microamperes for 12 minutes or a lesser amount for over an hour. Using only 0.65 volts, it can effectively power small devices.
The battery is being further improved to increase its potential. "Actually, we are already developing devices with greater capacity and reducing the overall size," says senior author Mario Caironi, a molecular electronics researcher at the Italian Institute of Technology.
Edible electronics as a whole have the potential to make significant changes in the medical field. According to the 2023 research article, such devices can help doctors monitor food quality, address gastrointestinal needs, and improve therapeutic methods.
Devices responsible for powering health monitors and heart-rate trackers have also found an edible replacement. These electronics, which are designed to sense strain, have been produced by University of Suffex scientists using water, graphene algae, seaweed, and rock salt, which is unlike sea salt.
Beyond being safe for human consumption, edible electronics are also a better choice for the environment. For example, batteries, as they stand, are considered toxic, reactive, and, non-biodegradable.
So, if you had the chance, would you try an edible battery?