Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Chemical and Paper Engineering

First Advisor

Massood Atashbar

Second Advisor

Qingliu Wu

Third Advisor

Matthew Stoops


Market demand for flexible electronics continues to grow, which, in turn, increases the demand for flexible energy storage devices. There are several types of energy storage devices available, including the alkaline (Zn-MnO2) battery, which is the subject of this project. This project's objective was to develop a flexible, printed paper-based battery, which may be a sustainable solution to the increasing market demand. This device is low-cost and can be manufactured commercially using a scalable process.

The proposed device is an alkaline flexible cell, whose components can be printed onto paper. This alkaline system includes a zinc-based negative electrode (anode), manganese dioxide (MnO2) and carbon black positive electrode (cathode), and potassium hydroxide (KOH) saturated with zinc oxide (ZnO) as the electrolyte. A reference cell was fabricated by coating the electrodes onto a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrate, to identify the electrical performance expected for the chosen electrochemical system in flexible packaging. The reference cell demonstrated an electric potential of 1.1 V and a capacity of 0.25 mAh, whereas the theoretical potential was 1.5 V, and the theoretical capacity was 1 mAh. Before commercial production, the cell's electrical performance should be improved, PET should be substituted with a paper solution, and the coating process should be replaced with printed electronics technology.

Three manufacturing models were established to determine the feasibility and profitability of large-scale manufacturing based on cell production requirements and market demand. Each cell would cost approximately $0.53 (reference) or $0.60 (paper-based) to manufacture, which includes $0.007 in processing cost, based on total equipment utilities. According to similar commercially available devices, with fewer advantages, the paper-based battery can be sold for $2.00 per unit. Three production models were set up based on 2, 5, and 10% penetration of the North American flexible battery market and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.1%. These models are practicable for production, considering the competition and market expansion. Each model predicted positive net present values (NPV), the desired outcome, after five years of production. The economic analysis, for the various scenarios, can be summarized as follows:

2% Market Penetration

  • NPV = $ 679,422

5% Market Penetration

  • NPV = $ 9,122,207

10% Market Penetration

  • NPV = $ 20,040,750

Across these scenarios, the total capital investments were between $2.9 and $8.1 million. Nevertheless, each model exhibited significant returns.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access