Today batteries used in devices billions times are poisonous to the environment and people. They need a special waste treatment to keep dangerous substances apart from the environment. Scientists found a green solution. This kind of battery need sugar as fuel.
Togehter with a bunch of enzymes and air the batteries producing electricity and water as a byproduct.
Inside the battery is a cascade of enzyms installed to extract the electrons from sugar smoothly. Behind this solution is Percival Zhang Professor at Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Lifescience, Department of Biological Engineering. Zhangs guess is in three years could cell phones, tablets and many many other technical gadgets run with sugar batteries. The benefits are great over the usual batteries with poisonous material.
Sugar is literally everywhere, no dependent on rare natural ressources like Lithium, that can only be found in some countries.
To be honest, not lump sugar is the source for this kind of battery. In this case the scientists used an 15% electrolyte from maltrodextrin, a polysaccharide made from partial hydrolysis of starch. With 2 of the batteries the scientist were able to power a digital clock.
Some benefits from sugar batteries:
- The sugar batteries are rechargable with sugar containing electrolyte, like printer cartridges.
- Used sugar electrolyte and enzymes can be released in the evironment without concerns for natur and people.
- Cheaper than batteries used today.
- Up to ten more storage of energy for the same size like an AAA-size lithium-ion battery.
Producing energy from sugar is natural. Nearly all cell based living like plants and animals extract energy from sugar. It’s the special mix of sugar concentration and the right blend of enzymes that let this kind of natural batteries work.
A challenge for now is the livespan of the enzymes. Natural enzymes last usually only some days and are sensitve to changes of temperature. The body of animals and plants is able to produce them new, all the time. For the battery the enzymes should last for years to have a reasonable livespan.
One more disadvantage, the energy output for sugar driven batteries is lower than from lithium-ion driven. They can be used for small devices but not for electrical cars.
in short the advantage of sugar batteries over other types of battery it’s cheaper, store more energy and is friendly to the environment.