HighTech Finland › Energy & The Environment › All articles in this section   ›  Can batteries be cleantech?

Energy Solutions
Working for a Better Environment
All articles in this section


Can batteries be cleantech?

Ever wondered why conventional batteries are so bulky and inflexible and seem to make products unnecessarily bulky as well? The wondering may be over, as Enfucell’s innovative, eco-friendly SoftBattery® technology is just the opposite – thin, flexible, and capable of powering many new applications.

Enfucell’s thin, flexible, and eco-friendly SoftBattery® represents a new generation of battery technology, and offers a completely new level of performance in terms of small dimensions and cost efficiency. It does this by using printing and lamination technology, rather than conventional
battery technology.

The size and shape of a SoftBattery® can be selected very flexibly, and units can even be supplied on a roll, just like labels – with the difference that these ‘labels’ power things too. The current range includes both 1.5 and 3 V power sources, working at temperatures from -25 °C to + 50 °C.

Extensive application potential

SoftBattery® power sources can be used in a very wide range of applications and locations that conventional battery technology cannot easily reach. Areas that immediately come to mind as potential applications include RFID and sensor-based tags, cosmetics and pharmaceutical applications, such as transdermal delivery patches, electronic printing, and functional packaging.

An RFID tag with a sensor powered by a SoftBattery®, for example, could be used to monitor human functions or detect toxic substances in the air.

In the health care area, SoftBattery® technology has the potential to make a valuable contribution in speeding up the penetration of drug molecules through the skin, making treatment faster and more efficient.

Battery-assisted wound healing patches are also a potentially attractive area for Enfucell’s technology.

Environmentally friendly

Compared to conventional dry cell batteries and the heavy metals they contain, Enfucell SoftBattery® is both more cost-effective and more environmentally friendly. Thanks to its eco-design approach, the environmental load of a SoftBattery® is equivalent to that of normal household waste. Reflecting this, Enfucell was selected as one of Europe’s 100 hottest cleantech companies in 2008 by The Guardian and The LibraryHouse.

Enfucell® and SoftBattery® are registered trademarks of Enfucell Ltd.

Founded in 2002, Enfucell really began to make headlines in 2007, when it became the first Finnish company to receive a prestigious Technology Pioneer award at the World Economic Forum in Davos. In addition to a nomination by The Guardian as one of Europe’s 100 hottest cleantech companies, Enfucell has also been highlighted by Red Herring as one of the 100 most promising technology companies in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Enfucell’s CTO, Dr. Xia-Chang Zhang, was nominated among the world’s 10 most influential Chinese in 2007 by a Chinese media consortium led by Phoenix TV.

Today, Enfucell has operations in Finland and the US, and plans to open an office in the Asia/China region in 2009, giving it a foothold in major markets with large potential for
SoftBattery® technology.

> Risto Huvila
(Published in HighTech Finland 2009)