Researchers at Saint Louis University (St. Louis, MO) have developed a biodegradable fuel cell battery that runs on virtually any sugar source, from soft drinks to tree sap, and has the potential to operate three to four times longer on a single charge than conventional lithium ion batteries. If the battery continues to show promise during further testing and refinement, it could be ready for commercialization in three to five years.

“This study shows that renewable fuels can be directly employed in batteries at room temperature to lead to more energy-efficient battery technology than metal-based approaches,” said study leader Shelley Minteer, PhD, an electrochemist at St. Louis University. “It demonstrates that by bridging biology and chemistry, we can build a better battery that's also cleaner for the environment.”

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