Sugar Batteries Are 15 Times Better than Current Lithium-ion Technology

If sugar gives you energy for sustained activities, why couldn’t the same substance power your car, for example? Well, it can, based on this new study saying that sugar batteries might be exactly what we need for electric vehicles.
sugar cubes 1 photo
A team of scientists from Cell-Free BioInnovations at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, led by Y-H Percival Zhang conducted a study that reveals the potential of sugar in electric batteries, showing properties never found before, like the complete oxidation of the substance and achieving a near-theoretical energy conversion.

Our cells use natural catabolic pathways to oxidate the glucose from sugar. Based on that, the scientists used two redox enzymes that generated reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) from sugar metabolites.

NADH is a natural electron mediator, carrying them from one molecule to another, which, along with ten other enzymes that sustain metabolic cycles, enables the bio-battery to extract the entire theoretical numbers of electrons per glucose unit.

Translated into normal language, this means the battery can completely use the sugar to convert it into carbon dioxide, water and electricity. Thus, a bio-battery using sugar can achieve a storage density of around 596 Ah/kg (ampere-hours per kilogram), which seems a lot more comparing it to a current 42 Ah/kg standard lithium-ion battery.

Talking with livescience, Zhang said the battery will also work for 10 times more, it costs less to produce, is refillable, eco friendly and nonflammable. We have some slight doubts about its eco-friendliness though, as the team said it makes carbon dioxide (CO2), a gas that the auto industry really wants to get rid off.

Still, the technology sounds promising, and with all these crazy battery concepts surfacing every week or so, we can’t but anxiously wait until at least one of them enters productions and revolutionize the way we move.


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