Gallery: Scientists Unveil Soda Powered Batteries!


We all know that if you give a little kid some sugar, they’ll have enough energy to be a total pain for a couple of hours. Well, why not charge your gadgets that way too? A group of researchers just presented their findings at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) about a fuel-cell battery that runs on sugar! The battery can be juiced up with soda-pop or even vegetable oil and recharges electronics the way we recharge ourselves — with glucose.

This is the first demonstration of a new class of biofuel cells,” noted the presenter of the report, Shelley Minteer, Ph.D., “when further developed, these devices have the potential for replacing disposable and rechargeable batteries in a wide variety of consumer electronics and other products.” The team has created the first fuel cell using mitochondria — you probably learned about these in elementary school. Mitochondria are fed by glucose which comes from food and is in high concentration in vegetable oil and sugary drinks.

These new fuel cells are quite small and are easily nourished. They could be used to provide energy for everything from wireless sensors for motion detection or as stamp sized power sources for hidden explosives — not that we’re saying you should blow anyone up using green power, but that’s kind of cool. Minteer pointed out that their team is the first to make a fuel cell with the body’s own power source, “it is the first such device based on one of the microscopic parts of the billions upon billions of cells that make up the body.”

Via Newswise


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  1. rom September 2, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Good remark Jonosong. Well put.

  2. junosong September 1, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    it sounds awesome and soda would make a great alternative power source, but i was just thinking about the CO2 emissions from the factories and the energy and resources that went into making a can that everyone will inevitably be carrying to hold their sprites or pepsis so that they can charge their phones with, and then go on tossing that aluminium can into the closest convenient trash can just to be picked up by the 800 horse power garbage truck to become a part of our landfill which may someday be called “landscape” by our children. That was just the can. Now what about the coke?

  3. angelop.mendez August 31, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    I agree with Rom about the input output ratio for livestock but I disagree on your comment stating that food would be taken from the poor. I actually think that processes like these can be the solution towards obesity in ignorant countries. The government can simply say “We can’t just produce sugar as quick”. I mean there are plenty can do without

  4. nomasteryoda August 30, 2010 at 12:19 am

    Awesome… Finally we get to use what powers the Force.. midichlorian. Oh wait, mitochondria. =D

  5. Rom August 25, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    I have never been a supporter of food powered things. Food should go to feeding people. Yes, this is renewable but a power source that takes from the poor to feed my phone just doesn’t seem worth it to me. I’d rather have a quality solar panel.

    It is bad enough we waste food on livestock. You have to feed a cow at least 9 pounds of grains to get 1 pound of meat. In any other business model a 9:1 yield would be considered extremely inefficient.

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