Sony has demonstrated a battery that breaks down paper to generate electricity. The technology was inspired by the way in which termites get energy by breaking down wood.
The paper is put into water containing the enzyme cellulase, which breaks down the paper to glucose sugar. The sugar is then processed by additional enzymes and oxygen to produce hydrogen ions and electrons, which provide the fuel for the battery.
Yuichi Tokita, senior researcher at Sony’s Advanced Material Research Lab, said that "this is still at the very early stages of its development, but when you imagine the possibilities that this technology could deliver, it becomes very exciting indeed."