A biodegradable Battery?

Submitted by: Greg Selfe 18/12/2014

Designer Tsung Chih-Hsien has created a tiny cardboard capsule that could power your phone.


A product called the 'Mini Power' has recently made the rounds on social media and tech websites, claiming to be an environmentally friendly, disposable battery.

The Red Dot Design Award-winning Mini Power is a disposable battery, which is to be used as a fast and convenient way to top-up a mobile phone's battery. If you, like many of us always do, leave the house, only to realise to your horror, that you have forgotten to charge your phone and are now only 8% away from being virtually lost in the eternal darkness of the social universe; then this product is aimed at you. You will be able to pick up a strip of Mini Power batteries at a local convenience store or petrol station. Once the energy has been consumed by a mobile device, a choice of 2, 4 or 6 hours will be available, then the battery is hoped to be returned to the store where purchased, to be recycled.

What differentiates this disposable battery from others currently on the market is its cardboard composition. Now here lies the controversial part. The cardboard battery has been promoted as being environmentally friendly, the battery has even been called 'bio-degradable', but there are many objections to this claim.

There have been several arguments about the inside of the Mini Power battery, if it still contains metals and chemicals, then how can this product be biodegradable? Many environmental commentators also argue that perhaps these innovative designers should focus their imaginations on a product which doesn't highlight its ease of disposability, or rely on the unpredictable nature of a consumer's motivation to recycle- but instead a product which is durable and reusable.

Alas, the Mini Power is only a concept design and is not expected to become available to purchase anytime soon. Nonetheless, the idea of paper battery technology is an interesting one, which I am sure we will hear more of in the future. Until then, just remember to charge your phone before you leave the house.