Sugar fueled batteries could power portable electronics

Before you take a swig of that kosher Coke this passover, think about what else you could be doing with your sugar-rush-in-a-can: powering your laptop for example, if a team of researchers at Saint Louis University in Missouri are successful. A study at the University showed that it was possible to create fuel cells that run on a variety of sugar sources that could potentially last up to four times longer than conventional lithium-ion batteries. The current proof of concept is a postage stamp sized fuel cell which can power a portable calculator, and the project lead Shelley Minteer PhD suggested that the new cell could be commercialized within 5 years. Apparently the best solution for the entirely renewable fuel cells -- which use enzymes to convert the fuel to electricity -- is simple sugar water: turns out our kosher Coke suggestion isn't apparently altogether that great due to the carbonization which weakens the fuel cell. Apart from the potential for laptop charging and on-the-go cellphone recharges, the military -- which funded the research -- also thinks there's potential for in the field implementations; their oddball idea is to use tree sap to recharge portable devices.