New sugar-powered battery outperforms lithium ion

04/25/2014 | ASME.org

A team at Virginia Tech has built a sugar-powered battery that has 10 times the capacity of lithium ion counterparts. This efficiency breakthrough for glucose batteries is based on the creation of a new enzyme pathway that enables the extraction of 24 electrons per unit, where previous methods extracted only one or two. "The pathway is not natural," said Percival Zhang, a professor of biological systems engineering who created the pathway. "We produce the enzyme ourselves. It's very routine, it just takes a lot of time."

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