You’re running some errands and your cell phone battery is about to die. Every regular mobile phone user has experienced this type of situation. There are no electrical outlets for you to use to charge your phone, so what do you do?
How about popping the battery out of your phone and refilling it with sugar?
It sounds like a pipe dream, but a team of researchers at Virginia Tech published a paper in January showing that a sugar battery is not only possible, but can feature a higher energy density than others. This could lead to it being stiff competition for the standard lithium-ion batteries used in most electronics.
Y.H. Percival Zhang, an associate professor of biological systems engineering at Virginia Tech and the primary author of the study, said that this battery “has an energy density an order of magnitude higher than others, allowing it to run longer before needing to be refueled.”
Zhang goes on to suggest that his battery could be ready in as little as three years to power all sorts of electronics, such as the cell phones and tablets that continue to grow as staples of American life. “Sugar is a perfect energy storage compound in nature,” Zhang told VA Tech’s campus news. “So it’s only logical that we try to harness this natural power in an environmentally friendly way to produce a battery.”