Future MP3 players may eat sugar to recharge

Oct 08, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Just as humans scoff sugary food to keep energised, so might your future iPod to charge its “bio-battery”.

A new biofuel cell made by Japanese scientists uses enzymes to break down sugars and produce enough power to run small electronic devices, reports the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Energy & Environmental Science.

Four of these cells stacked together produced a power of 100 milliwatts – enough to power an MP3 player with speakers, or a miniature remote controlled car.

Energy outputs from biofuel cells have been too low for practical applications until now. By using a “mediator” chemical to speed electron transfer, and carefully designing the cathode and anode to maximise efficiency, the Sony scientists raised the power output enough for real-life applications.

Adam Heller, an expert in bioelectrochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin, US, says the research 'will give much needed impetus to the development of useful biofuel cells, after years of studies aimed at unachievable goals'.

Original article: Tsuyonobu Hatazawa et al, Energy Environ. Sci., 2008
DOI: 10.1039/b809841g (www.rsc.org/Publishing/Journal… cle.asp?doi=b809841g)

Further reading: www.rsc.org/Publishing/ChemTec… ered_electronics.asp

Provided by Royal Society of Chemistry

Explore further: Estrogen helps calm stressed cells, researchers find

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Signatures of selection inscribed on poplar genomes

Aug 24, 2014

One aspect of the climate change models researchers have been developing looks at how plant ranges might shift, and how factors such as temperature, water availability, and light levels might come into play. ...

Tattoo biobatteries produce power from sweat

Aug 13, 2014

In the future, working up a sweat by exercising may not only be good for your health, but it could also power your small electronic devices. Researchers will report today that they have designed a sensor ...

Recommended for you

New star-shaped molecule breakthrough

3 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Scientists at The University of Manchester have generated a new star-shaped molecule made up of interlocking rings, which is the most complex of its kind ever created.

A refined approach to proteins at low resolution

Sep 19, 2014

Membrane proteins and large protein complexes are notoriously difficult to study with X-ray crystallography, not least because they are often very difficult, if not impossible, to crystallize, but also because ...

Base-pairing protects DNA from UV damage

Sep 19, 2014

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich researchers have discovered a further function of the base-pairing that holds the two strands of the DNA double helix together: it plays a crucial role in protecting ...

User comments : 0