It looks and sounds like a MacGyver episode set in any typical office: researchers at the University of Tokyo and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne have created a new type of battery using just a standard pencil, cardstock paper, and Teflon tape (also known as thread seal tape or plumber’s tape). Together, the materials create static electricity that can generate as much as 3 volts of power, which is equal to two AA batteries. 

To turn these objects into a power source, researchers covered two pieces of card stock paper with graphite lead and Teflon tape. The graphite acts as an electrode while the paper and the Teflon act as insulators. The entire system is then rigged so that the pieces do not touch. Known as a TENG device, the makeshift battery creates a voltage as the insulators come into contact with each other. Versions of the battery are already used in some medical fields of developing countries, where electricity from a grid can be touch and go. As a cheap yet effective battery, it can help power small tools and devices in any situation. 

Replacing simple devices that use AA batteries–from TV remote controls, to alarm clocks, flashlights, and the like–homes and businesses can get the power needed, without relying on alkaline batteries made with metals. Instead, these simple paper batteries can help people go green by recycling common objects into an innovative battery.

If you don’t believe us, you can watch the video of the battery in action, and try it out for yourself.