The ranks of non-hydrogen fuel cells continues, with a new design from Dr. Shelley Minteer of Saint Louis University. Dr. Minteer has developed a fuel cell that develops electricity from sugar. The cell can use almost any sugar source such as sap, soft drinks or juices. This isn't the first sugar-powered fuel cell, but this one is apparently more efficient and runs longer than previous designs.

Dr. Minteer recently demonstrated a glucose-fueled cell the size of a postage stamp that ran a calculator. The fuel cell contains enzymes that process the sugars into electricity and produce water. The cell is completely biodegradable after it's used up but there is no indication of what happens to the carbon in the glucose or whether it could be scaled up enough to power anything larger than consumer electronics devices. Dr. Minteer expects the cell to be commercialized in about three to five years.

[Source: Saint Louis University]


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