Sony Powers with Sugar

Dennis Faas's picture

This is a story about Sony batteries. Although you might be anticipating an article about another Sony battery exploding somewhere at some time injuring someone, you're wrong. Instead, the Japanese company has made an environmentally-friendly breakthrough in battery technology.

The sweet science

Believe it or not, the battery runs on sugar. It works by breaking down sugar with enzymes so that electrical energy is created. When asked why sugar was chosen to be the miracle ingredient, a Sony representative replied, "Sugar is a naturally occurring energy source produced by plants through photosynthesis. It is therefore regenerative and can be found in most areas of the Earth, underlining the potential for sugar-based batteries as an ecologically friendly energy device of the future." (Source:

The scientific explanation behind the sugar battery's ability to produce electricity is a bit more detailed. Surprisingly, this bio cell battery is very similar to other batteries in the way that its power is produced through a flow of electrons between a cathode and an anode. The process begins as sugar-digesting enzymes at the anode extract electrons and hydrogen ions from the glucose. Next, hydrogen ions pass through a membrane separator to the cathode. Here they absorb oxygen from the air to produce water as a byproduct. Finally, the electrons flow around the circuit outside the device producing the electricity needed to power it. (Source:

Sounds impressive, does it actually work?

Yes. During tests, the bio battery was able to achieve a power output of 50 milliWatts. If this number means little to you, know that it is currently the world's highest level for passive-type bio batteries. Consequently, this energy output gives off enough power to successfully fuel a memory-type Walkman.

While the company plans to produce the batteries commercially, a potential launch date has not been scheduled.

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