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Paper Battery Co. Revolutionizes Energy Storage



Research Summary

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) have discovered paper as a candidate for the future of advanced energy storage, and their succesful spin-off, The Paper Battery Company, is driving battery technology and integrated energy storage to new frontiers. The company has used this initial research concept and designed a commercially viable nanocomposite energy storage device in a print-formed sheet architecture capable of incorporating any electrochemical device technology. The design of these energy storage sheets leverages roll-to-roll print-forming processes and existing supercapacitor technology to enable high-volume production and energy densities six times higher than that of current commercial supercapacitors. The faster recharge and much longer cycle life of The Paper Company’s supercapacitor technology enables structural integration of these sheets, so that energy storage can now be scaled with a vanishing footprint. Furthermore, they are fault-resistant, which means that damage to any one part will not prevent the entire mechanism from functioning – a quality that makes these batteries promising in mission-critical applications, such as soldier portable power. Since these devices are thin, flexible, scalable and ‘cut to fit’, they have a long list of potential applications, including portable devices, medical equipment and integration with solar photovoltaics (PVs). Furthermore, they can be molded to fit the body structures of electric cars, and can be used as building-integrated structural sheeting for massive scaling of energy storage on the grid.

Current Research Focus – The Paper Battery

The Paper Battery Company plans to use these thin sheets for innovative portable electronic devices in next-generation hybrids, integrated with solar PV energy harvesting, and as structural sheets integrated into buildings and networked to enable energy storage at the grid scale. CEO Shreefal Mehta says, “We anticipate that the resulting products will allow NY State to increase integration of distributed renewable energy generation, by making it possible to deploy large amounts of energy storage in restrictive urban spaces without creating a footprint.”

Future plans include integrating the fault-tolerant battery storage sheets into mobile device casings and directly into buildings, which would be applied as a home casing much like the Tyvek house wrap currently made by Dupont. Initial projections show the potential for 20–30 watt hours of storage per square meter of battery sheet.

The Team

Research at Rensselaer was conducted with leadership from Senior Constellation Professor of Biocatalysts and Metabolic Engineering Robert Linhardt and Professors Pulickel Ajayan (now at Rice University) and Om Nalamasu (now at Applied Materials). Inventors on the RPI patent application also include past postdoctoral fellows who worked with these professors. The company has an exclusive license to this technology from RPI and is led by its CEO, Shreefal Mehta, and its CTO, Robert Miller. Staff includes Marsha Grade, Lead Application Chemist. The company also has ongoing collaborations with the Center for Future Energy Systems and the Center for Automoation Technology and Systems at RPI.

Patents & Papers

"Energy Storage Devices and Composite Articles Associated with the Same," PM Ajayan, RJ Linhardt, O Nalamasu, A Kumar, S Murugesan, SM Manikoth, & VL Pushparaj, U.S. Patent Pending.

“Flexible Energy Storage Devices Based on Nanocomposite Paper,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. VL Pushparaj, MM Shaijumon, A Kumar, S Murugesan, L Ci, R Vajtai, RJ Linhardt, O Nalamasu, & PM Ajayan.

Funding

In February 2010, The Paper Battery Company was awarded $250,000 from the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) as part of an Early-Stage Innovative Product Development, Feasibility and Technology Transfer Studies program. NYSERDA supports the development of innovative clean energy products that can be manufactured in New York State to improve energy efficiency, cut costs, and reduce greenhouse gas pollution. The Paper Battery Company has raised over $1M in angel investment and is seeking investors to pursue further prototyping and product development towards rapid commercialization.

Contact

Shreefal Mehta, CEO
45 Ferry St, Troy NY 12180
shreefal@paperbatteryco.com
www.paperbatteryco.com

Robert J. Linhardt Ph.D.
Biology, and Chemical and Biological Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Biotech Center 4005
110 8th Street
Troy, NY 12180-3590