Energy laden sugar-powered batteries will power gadgets and gizmos
In this power hungry world of gadgets and gizmos, looking for alternate sources of energy that would be natural and in plenty is the competition these days. Going along the same lines a Virginia Tech research team has come up with a sugar-powered battery that has the potential to replace conventional gadget batteries in 3 year’s time. The research headed by Y.H. Percival Zhang (associate professor of biological systems engineering in the college of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Engineering is on the way to making a sugar powered battery system that is much cheaper, refillable and biodegradable. This new development will not only replace the current toxic batteries that pose a risk to the environment but also make gadgets like smartphones, tablets, portable music players, handheld gaming systems, smartwatches etc. cheaper and with more power reserve than before.
The sugar powered battery consists of a non-natural synthetic enzymatic pathway that strips all the potential charges from sugar and generate electricity in an enzymatic fuel cell. Unlike costly batteries that use platinum as a catalyst, this battery will use a low-cost biocatalyst enzyme. The fuel for the battery is going to be polysaccharide that is made from partial hydrolysis of starch which has by-products like air and water. This solution is non explosive and non-flammable with high energy storage credentials making it ideal for everyday gadgets that we are so used to these days.
Just like you add ink to a printer cartridge when it needs refueling, the sugar-powered battery can be refilled with sugar when needed. And it is no surprise that this research is being supported by Department of Biological Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech and Cell-Free Bioinnovations.
So, although sugar might be a health hazard for you in later stages of your life but gadgets will love to burn out their calories feeding on the sugar-powered battery inside in the coming years.