An Italian research group reports on edible batteries that supply electric current and can be digested as food, thus providing energy a second time. What sounds funny at first has a serious background, because in medicine, power sources are needed that could be transported through the digestive tract and possibly remain in the body unintentionally, e.g., for swallowable mini-cameras that could be used in gastroscopies and colonoscopies. If the battery materials are then digestible, there will be no problematic effects from the battery if it does not pass through the body quickly enough.
The battery presented is composed of dietary and nutritional supplements, and since all components are either digestible or pass through the body unchanged, they could actually be eaten. The authors did test the battery’s functionality, so it does provide electricity, but they did not eat their battery because the battery case was too large and not constructed of digestible materials, so more research is needed here.
Ilic, I. K., Galli, V., Lamanna, L., Cataldi, P., Pasquale, L., Annese, V. F., Athanassiou, A., Caironi, M., An Edible Rechargeable Battery. Adv. Mater. 2023, 2211400.
Spotlight November 2023: Early Awareness and Action System for Advanced Materials (Early4AdMa)
Advanced materials hold immense potential to address global challenges such as environmental degradation, transformation of the energy sector, and development towards circularity. To harness their benefits while ensuring safety and sustainability, regulatory bodies, scientific communities, and industries have recognized the need for proactive approaches. The “Early4AdMa” system is a pre-regulatory risk governance tool for advanced […]Read more
Spotlight April 2023: Recycling rare earths – bacteria assist in the circular economy
Rare earths are important components of wind turbines, catalytic converters, fibre optic cables and plasma screens. Since the 17 metals grouped under this term are indispensable for modern technologies, demand and costs are constantly rising. The occurrence of productive mining sites is limited and the production is often costly and environmentally harmful. The advantages of […]Read more
Spotlight July 2021: The Path to Digital Material Research – It is never too late to start
Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data…. Have you read these words lately? No, these are not just buzzwords. The digitalisation of science is an evolving topic that is gaining importance with each passing day. That is why this month we would like to introduce you to the article “Digital Transformation in Materials Science: A Paradigm […]Read more
Spotlight June 2023: New catalytic process for recovering important materials from composites in a single process
Previously virtually impossible and a huge problem: fibre-reinforced resin composites (epoxides) were not recyclable, and wind turbine rotor blades, for example, add up to a waste pile of 43 million tons by 2050. Researchers have now taken an important first step in “reprocessing” these composites and catalytically dissolving them so that the carbon fibres and […]Read more