Could New Bio-Batteries Replace Lithium-ion?

We’re always on the lookout for the latest green gadget but the latest innovation in green powered battery technology could just replace the lithium-ion batteries used to power our favourite devices.

Researchers at Virginia Tech have developed a new bio-battery that runs on sugar and powers smartphones for up to ten days. The battery converts sugar into energy rivalling the lithium-ion alternative in terms of output per weight. The bio-battery promises greater output powering for ten days in between charges compared with the lithium-ion battery that lasts just one day without charge.

L91VP Could New Bio Batteries Replace Lithium ion?

Longer lasting battery life

The sugar battery is still in development and is thought to be available to the wider market within the next three years. The battery is set to revolutionise how we power gadgets like smartphones, tablets, laptops and even game consoles, providing longer lasting battery life.

According to its developers, recharging doesn’t require a power outlet, instead users will simply have to add more sugar to produce ten days more power for their device.

An eco-friendly solution

The bio-battery is said to be a greener option compared to all types of battery as it is refillable, cheaper to manufacture and biodegradable. The biodegradable element of the new technology is exciting eco-friendly champions all over the world. The recycling and disposal of batteries is a major problem for councils and landfill sites throughout the UK. According to a recent survey only 40% of smartphone and consumer batteries are recycled and incorrect disposal of these hazardous materials can cause serious environmental damage.

In the US, over three billion batteries are throw out every year and the introduction of the bio-battery will reduce waste and take the pressure off landfill sites around the world.

Fuel cell technology

Whilst the sugar powered battery is an entirely new concept, the use of fuel cells is not and many prototypes have been developed using plant based foods as power. The sugar in the bio-battery is broken down and this partially digested starch releases electrons that can be used as a power resource.

Like any fuel cell, the bio-battery produces an eco-friendly water byproduct that can be easily disposed of without causing environmental harm. One difference between the bio-battery and other fuel cells however is that the sugar powered battery is not explosive or flammable making it the perfect power source for portable devices.

This post was written by Brittany Thorley from Steatite Batteries, a leading manufacturer of battery technology. She enjoys sharing technology news across the web.

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