If sugar can give human energy, then why can’t it give energy to batteries? Based on this thought, researchers at Virginia Tech are now busy in developing a sugar-powered “biobattery” in Texas that will be able to store 10 times more energy than lithium-ion batteries found in smartphones.
The researchers behind making such sugar-powered batteries are Y.H. Percival Zhang and Zhiguang Zhu. They are now developing a biofuel, made from genetically engineered yeast cells and table sugar. The battery combines maltodextrin with air, which results in electricity and water byproducts. The sugar-powered batteries will be able to run for a much longer time before refueling again.
According to researcher Y.H. Percival Zhang, associate professor of biological systems engineering at Virginia Tech, “Sugar is a perfect energy storage compound in nature. So it’s only logical that we try to harness this natural power in an environmentally friendly way to produce a battery.”
Virginia Tech has said, “Zhang and his colleagues constructed a non-natural synthetic enzymatic pathway that strip all charge potentials from the sugar to generate electricity in an enzymatic fuel cell. Then, low-cost biocatalyst enzymes are used as catalyst instead of costly platinum, which is typically used in conventional batteries.”
The sugar battery could be a staple in electronic devices within just a few years, if development goes according to schedule. Lets wait and see whether or not researchers get successful making this sugar-powered batteries.