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Sony Develops Bio-Battery Powered by Glucose

Sony's new bio-battery that uses the sugar in carbohydrates to generate electricity -- as an example, the company demonstrated using a sports drink to power a small fan or a Walkman.

Sony has developed a bio-battery that uses glucose to generate enough electricity to power a Walkman.

The technology breaks down sugar in the carbohydrates using enzymes as the catalyst. The bio-battery reached a 50 milliwatt power output, the world's highest for passive-type bio-batteries, the company said.

In passive-type batteries, reactive substances, such as glucose and oxygen, are absorbed into electrodes through natural diffusion rather than by force. A flow of electrons through the cathode and anode produces the power.

Sony said it created a new cathode structure which manages to efficiently supply oxygen to the electrode while ensuring that enough water content is maintained. The high power output levels were reached because Sony was able to optimize the electrolyte for these two technologies.

The technology holds great promise as a clean energy source because sugar is produced naturally by plants through photosynthesis.

Sony said it will continue developing immobilization systems, electrode composition and other technologies to boost power output and durability. The company one day hope to drive the technology toward future practical applications.

Sony's research was accepted as an academic paper at the 234th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition Wednesday in Boston.

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