It appears that Sony has developed a type of battery that generates electricity from sugar. This mirrors the biological process that happens in living organisms.
Initial tests cells were able to generate up to 50 milliwatts, which is enough electricity to give you music playback on a memory-based music player. In a statement released in Japan, Sony says the output is the highest for a bio battery of this type.
According to InformationWeek:
The battery generates electricity through the use of enzymes that break down carbohydrates, which is essentially sugar. Sony has increased battery output by efficiently immobilizing enzymes and the electronic conduction materials, while retaining enzyme activity at the anode, an electrode through which positive electric current flows into a polarized device.
The attraction of this bio battery would be that this promises an ecologically friendly device. This is because sugar is a naturally occurring energy source produced during photosynthesis. To highlight the point, Sony made the battery casing using vegetable-based plastic.
Obviously, an ecologically friendly battery would ease disposal problems with batteries. Some might argue that many folks don't care about it at all, which is what we found in our recent poll on battery disposal.
McDonald's in Singapore — like the one I'm sitting in now — appears to have sealed up all its public-accessible power points. So being able to recharge my laptop's battery using a sachet or two of sugar from over-the-counter seems kind of appealing to me.
Is minimum battery run-times a key criteria when you choose a laptop? If so, how many hours is acceptable for you, and what strategies do you employ to maximize or increase the run-time?