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Bridgeport High School Student Creates Flexible Seaweed Battery

Kharbouch: You Could Take A Bite And Not Be Harmed
Karim Kharbouch (credit: Connecticut Science Fair Association, Inc.)

Karim Kharbouch (credit: Connecticut Science Fair Association, Inc.)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Among the finalists up for the Intel science prize tonight is Karim Kharbouch, a 17-year-old from the Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture Science and Technology Education Center.

He’s created a seaweed salt water powered battery that is as flexible as paper.

“It’s pretty much stacked layers of kelp paper paper and electrodes inside and you can make it any size. You can make it the size of a table, the size of of plane. You can wrap it around anything pretty much and it will power simple little things,” Kharbouch told WCBS 880’s Wayne Cabot. “Like if you want to put it around a plane, it will power your cabin lights. You want to put it in a desk, it can power your reading light. And so on.”

 

How long does a seaweed salt water battery last?

“I can hook three cells and it will power a small electric motor for about two days,” he said.

He said the only problem with his prototype is that he’s using copper and zinc electrodes because he couldn’t afford a more flexible electrode called Polypyrrole.

“This is pretty much a plastic electrode conductive polymer which will make the battery rechargeable as well and increase the capacity so a battery will last longer and become more efficient and completely biodegradable,” he said.

What’s he looking to do here? Make a greener battery and make billions of dollars in the process?

“I hope so,” he said.

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