Swiss battery made of paper named one of the world's top inventions by TIME

Swiss battery made of paper named one of the world's top inventions by TIME

A Swiss-made battery powered using paper and water has been named one of the most important innovations of 2022, according to TIME magazine’s 200 best inventions. The battery is biodegradable and was created by researchers at the Swiss Federal Laboratory for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA) in Canton Zurich.

Swiss battery ranked highly in the experimental category

The TIME ranking rated the Swiss invention highly in the competition’s “experimental” category. To store power, the battery uses salt contained in the paper and inks containing graphite, zinc and carbon. 

Analysis shows that the battery was able to be activated 20 seconds after two drops of water were added to the paper. The battery then reached a stable voltage of 1,2 volts, nearly the voltage of a normal battery. As the paper began to dry out, the battery’s performance dwindled. 

Switzerland’s battery technology could pave the way for further advancements

In the next few years, the new technology could help the healthcare system by being used in single-use electronics such as medical devices, as these only require a low voltage, EMPA inventor Gustav Nyström told TIME magazine. Though the battery lost power as the paper dried out, it’s possible for more water to be added in order to keep the battery going, just at a lower voltage. 

Every year, TIME magazine ranks inventions from across the world in terms of what has the capacity to “change how we live”. The ranking is based on the inventions’ creativity, originality, efficiency and impact, among others.

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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