In our increasingly mobile society, any improvement in battery technology can open up whole new fields of devices. Therefore this news strikes me as possibly revolutionary.
[R]esearchers at Virginia Tech have successfully created a sugar-powered fuel cell that has an energy storage density of 596 amp-hours per kilo — or “one order of magnitude” higher than lithium-ion batteries. This fuel cell is refillable with a solution of maltodextrin, and its only by products are electricity and water. The chief researcher, Y.H. Percival Zhang, says the tech could be commercialized in as soon as three years.
Wow! This is an order of magnitude improvement in performance! The other really cool thing is to recharge you just pour more solution in it. It’s instant charging! So let’s see what products get transformed by this.
- Electric Cars. Recharging times are same as putting gas in. Range is drastically improved and the batteries aren’t subject to combusting in a crash.
- Augmented Reality glasses. The computers are getting small enough but they take a lot of power still. This can fix that.
- Mobile Phones. Much better battery life will allow more powerful phones.
- Exoskeleton suits. Powered suits are getting close to being practical but the power problem keeps them tethered.
They say it will take three years to commercialize this. I am curious to see if a big company (Google?) snaps up this technology.