Next time that someone asks you if you have some sugar, they may actually need it for something else other than their coffee addiction. They could be using it to power their walkman. Sony, the Japanese electronics maker announced that they have developed an experimental ‘biobattery’ powered by carbohydrates, or as it is most deliciously known, sugar.
For the more technologically inclined, the process works like this: Take a small container, divide it into two using a cellophane separator. On one side, add an anode (an electrode in which a positive electric current flows through to an electric device) consisting of sugar-digesting enzymes and mediator, and on the other side, a cathode (an electrode in which a positive electric current flown out of an electric device) composed of oxygen-reducing enzymes and mediator. The mediators in this case are Vitamin K3 for the anode and Potassium Ferricyanide for the cathode. When sugar is added to the mix, the anode extracts the electrons and hydrogen ions. The ions travel to the cathode through the separator which then combine with the oxygen to produce water. It is this process which generated the electricity to power the device.
So, is sugar the future for battery powered devices? It sure would be nice to if this could be the case.