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article imageSugar-powered batteries could be the future

By Michael Thomas     Feb 5, 2014 in Technology
Currently, lithium-ion batteries are the go-to for all technological needs, but they could soon fall by the wayside with news of a sugar-powered battery which lasts 10 times as long.
Researchers at Virginia Tech have developed a new battery that runs on glucose, as reported by CNET. Research findings can be found in the Jan. 21 edition of the journal Nature Communications.
While sugar can easily be converted to energy in living beings, it doesn't interact as well with non-biological ones. The researchers used 13 tailor-made enzymes to bond with air and maltodextrin glucose to create water and electricity.
The sugar-powered battery could become readily available once commercially viable. As Business Insider points out, lithium (used in lithium-ion batteries) is available mostly in Bolivia, China, Argentina, Chile and Australia, while sugar is much more widely available, as well as safer to use.
So far there are two unknowns with regards to the sugar battery. First, the rsearchers aren't sure how long it will last after multiple charges, nor how stability will be affected. Second, should it become popular, it could face a similar problem to ethanol, which is made from corn — food prices could be adversely affected.
Sugar batteries have been attempted before, but other tries have been less successful because the concentration of the sugar used to power the batteries was too high.
Should the battery catch on, we could be looking at a very sweet future.
More about sugar battery, Battery power, biobatteries, Alternative energy