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Japan Power Hardware Technology

Sugar Batteries Could Store 20% More Energy Than Li-Ions 152

Posted by timothy
from the sweet-deal dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Scientists at the Tokyo University of Science have developed a way to create sugar batteries that store 20% more energy than lithium-ion cells. Before it can be used as the anode in a sodium-ion battery, sucrose powder is turned into hard carbon powder by heating it to up to 1,500 degrees celsius in an oxygen-free oven." Except that swapping batteries might be a bit tricky, I can think of a perfect application for these.
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Sugar Batteries Could Store 20% More Energy Than Li-Ions

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  • by olsmeister (1488789) on Friday September 28, 2012 @07:50PM (#41495409)
    It demonstrates how it uses a cheap, plentiful materials (unlike Lithium).
  • by gstoddart (321705) on Friday September 28, 2012 @08:12PM (#41495569) Homepage

    If they can argue that carbonizing C_6 H_12 O_6 into carbon with high temperature still allows them to call it a "sugar battery", I argue that my elemental alchemist's transformation into plutonium can also be called a sugar battery.

    If you can actually do it, then by all means, patent your nuclear sugar battery.

    It's the making it that's the hard part.

    Hell, TFA even says "In reality, there are many raw materials that can be turned into carbon in a similar fashion, but the advantage to using sugar is that's it's practically an unlimited resource."

    If you can make plutonium out of sugar, then I bet you'll be a rich man, because gold would be trivial.

  • Uh ... No. (Score:5, Informative)

    by AnotherBlackHat (265897) on Friday September 28, 2012 @08:18PM (#41495601) Homepage

    First, regarding the so-called sugar battery;
    It's really a sodium-ion battery.
    They claim a 20% increase in power storage over a lithium-ion, which probably means a 20% decrease in cost, best case.
    Sodium-ion batteries have cycle problems - after about 50 charge/discharges, they typically have 50% of their original capacity. They don't even talk about this, so I'm betting they haven't solved the problem.

    Second, about lithium-ion batteries;
    Lithium isn't rare - you could extract it from sea water for about 3 times what it costs now. Even at that price it wouldn't mean much to lithium-ion batteries, because despite the name, lithium isn't the primary ingredient, nor is it the most costly.

    Envia's breakthrough battery [nytimes.com] is a lot better at 3 times the energy density and half the cost, and it's a lot closer to market.

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