I knew paper was magical! Japan’s Sony has developed a type of battery that runs off of recycled paper, or more specifically, the cellulose fibers in the paper.
At an environmental products fair, this battery actually powered a small fan (shown above). Even though this bio-battery is a long ways off from existing in retail stores, the potential is exciting.
Those glucose sugars in cellulose fibers can have many purposes. Last fall, I was on a search for bagasse fibers. Bagasse is the cellulose fiber leftover from processing sugar cane, down here in Louisiana. I visited the LSU Sugar Research Station and was given a very informative, informal tour from a graduate student. He was researching glucose from bagasse for creating plastics.
Since he only had a barrel of the fiber there, I continued my journey to the Alma Sugar Plantation, some 20 miles up and across the river. The plant manager was more than happy to give me bagasse, considering that they had over 7 acres of the stuff. The factory burns the bagasse to power the operation, but there is always leftover fiber.
I did make paper from bagasse, but that is best left for a future post.
In summary, creating something new from unwanted fiber and scraps of cloth and paper is an environmentally friendly practice in the hand paper-making world as well as in the scientific and academic research worlds. Does that tie my line of thinking together? Hopefully.