Funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, researchers at Saint Louis University have developed a fuel cell battery that can run on any type of sugar source and can supposedly last 3 to 4 times longer than lithium ion batteries. The sugar battery works by using enzymes to strip sugars of charges which generate electricity. The press release from the American Chemical Society of Society noted that the only by-product of the fuel cell is water and all materials that compose the battery are biodegradable. Flat soda, glucose, sweetened liquids and tree sap were sugar products that showed good results while sweetened carbonated beverages did not fare so well, says study leader Shelley Minteer, Ph.D., an electrochemist at Saint Louis University. "This study shows that renewable fuels can be directly employed in batteries at room temperature to lead to more energy-efficient battery technology than metal-based approaches. It demonstrates that by bridging biology and chemistry, we can build a better battery that's also cleaner for the environment," said Minteer.
This should be the evident next step for batteries, assuming it really is more efficient than current solutions. The fact that the method poses no threat to the environment and that sugar is extremely cheap nowadays is an added bonus. How easy it will be to implement into current products is what really matters though.
News source: DailyTech