"Sugar is a perfect energy storage compound in nature," said Y.H. Percival Zhang, an associate professor of biological systems engineering in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Engineering.
"So it's only logical that we try to harness this natural power in an environmentally friendly way to produce a battery."
In contrary to other sugar batteries, this one has an energy density an order of magnitude higher than others, allowing it to run longer before needing to be refueled, Zhang said.
Zhang and his team constructed a non-natural synthetic enzymatic pathway that strip all charge potentials from the sugar to generate electricity in an enzymatic fuel cell. Then, low-cost biocatalyst enzymes are used as catalyst instead of costly platinum, which is typically used in conventional batteries.