A Sugar-Powered Smartphone? Sweet!

A more efficient, sugar-powered battery developed by a team at Virginia Tech could help move the technology out of the lab and into your favorite gadget.

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Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Your phone might have to start counting calories.

A Virginia Tech research team unveiled a new sugar-powered battery Tuesday that could replace conventional batteries in cell phones and tablets in as little as three years.

The battery uses chemical reactions to generate electricity from molecules found in sugar. While not the first sugar-powered battery developed, this early prototype reportedly has a higher energy density and needs refueling far less often than other models.

“Sugar is a perfect energy storage compound in nature,” said Y.H. Percival Zhang, a scientist on the team, in a press release on the breakthrough. “So it’s only logical that we try to harness this natural power in an environmentally friendly way to produce a battery.”