‘Juiced-up’ Sugar-Fueled Battery Could Power Portable Electronics
Like other fuel cells, the sugar battery contains enzymes that convert fuel — in this case, sugar — into electricity, leaving behind water as a main byproduct. But unlike other fuel cells, all of the materials used to build the sugar battery are biodegradable.
For consumers, that could mean significantly longer time to talk and play music between charges. The new battery, which is also biodegradable, could eventually replace lithium ion batteries in many portable electronic applications, including computers, the scientists say. Their findings were described today at the 233rd national meeting of the American Chemical Society.
Researchers at Saint Louis University in Missouri have developed a fuel cell battery that runs on virtually any sugar source — from soft drinks to tree sap — and has the potential to operate three to four times longer on a single charge than conventional lithium ion batteries, they say.