Sugar-powered ‘bio-battery’ may replace lithium-ion battery in smartphones

Mobile & tablets

by CBR Staff Writer| 23 January 2014

The new battery would be found in electronic gadgets by the following three years.

Scientists at the Virginia Tech University in the US have developed a sugar-powered "biobattery", which they claim to be capable of storing 10 times more energy compared to similar sized lithium-ion batteries that currently power smartphones.

The latest invention is claimed to have an energy density an order of magnitude higher when compared to others, which could significantly bolster the battery life of smartphones, tablets, and electric cars.

Virginia Tech university biological systems engineering professor Percival Zhang said that sugar is a perfect energy storage compound in nature.

"So it's only logical that we try to harness this natural power in an environmentally friendly way to produce a battery," Zhang said.

Operating similar to other types of fuel cell, 'bio-battery' is powered by a partly digested starch, which is broken down into a complex sugarcalled maltodextrin, which again crushed into a chain of 13 enzymes.

"We are releasing all electron charges stored in the sugar solution slowly step-by-step by using an enzyme cascade," Zhang added.

Claimed to be cheaper, refillable, biodegradable and more environmentally friendly, the new 'biobattery' releases energy from sugar rather than chemicals such as lithium currently used in batteries that power electronic gadgets.

According to scientists, the new technology would also replace traditional disposable or rechargeable batteries.

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