LiveScience reports scientists are working on biodegradable batteries that are powered by algae. One potential application of these flexible paper-thin batteries may be gift paper that lights up with words like "Happy Birthday".
The key to this new battery turned out to be an often bothersome green algae known as Cladophora. Rotting heaps of this hairlike freshwater plant throughout the world can lead to unsightly, foul-smelling beaches.
This algae makes an unusual kind of cellulose typified by a very large surface area, 100 times that of the cellulose found in paper. This allowed researchers to dramatically increase the amount of conducting polymer available for use in the new device, enabling it to better recharge, hold and discharge electricity.