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article imageFuel cell harvests electricity from glucose

By Bob Ewing     Oct 1, 2009 in Science
Brigham Young University researchers have developed a fuel cell that harvests electricity from glucose and other sugars.
When we eat, our bodies break down carbohydrates into simple sugars which are then transported into our bloodstreams and give us the energy to go about our daily tasks.
A research team at Brigham Young University has developed a fuel capable of harvesting electricity from glucose and other sugars known as carbohydrates.
It is now possible that as carbohydrates fuel our bodies, they may also fuel our vehicles and homes.
“Carbohydrates are very energy rich,” said BYU chemistry Professor Gerald Watt said in the BYU press release. “What we needed was a catalyst that would extract the electrons from glucose and transfer them to an electrode.”
The catalyst is a common weed killer.
The team published their research in the October issue of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society.
“We showed you can get a lot more out of glucose than other people have done before,” said Dean Wheeler, lead faculty author of the paper and a chemical engineering professor in BYU’s Fulton College of Engineering and Technology. “Now we’re trying to get the power density higher so the technology will be more commercially attractive.”
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