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Due to the limited energy-source and mostly unattended nature of the wireless sensor networks, efficient use of energy has a critical importance on the lifetime of the applications accomplished by such networks. Although in most of the cases sensor nodes are battery-powered, there are application scenarios in which battery- and mains-powered nodes coexist. In this paper, we present an approach and algorithms based on this approach that increase the lifetime of wireless sensor networks in such heterogeneous deployment cases. In the proposed approach, a backbone, which is composed of mains-powered nodes, sink, and battery-powered nodes if required, is constructed to relay the data packets. Simulation results show that, the proposed approach is able to increase the network lifetime up to more than a factor of two, compared to the case in which battery- and mains-powered nodes are not distinguished.