You read that right, researchers at the Tokyo University of Science in Japan have developed a way to create batteries using sugar. It’s an alternative power source for batteries that may soon replace the common lithium ion batteries used today. Current rechargeable battery designs, like those found inside smartphones, are typically made from lithium, a finite resource, but high demand and its scarcity drives prices up. Furthermore, the process to obtain lithium isn’t very good for the environment to say the least. However, by heating sugar at extremely high temperatures, it can be converted to hard carbon, which can then be used to create sodium ion batteries. Continue reading for a video and more information.

According to the research group: “The supply of sodium is unlimited. Also, sodium ion batteries can be made using iron, aluminum, and sodium, rather than cobalt or copper as before. What’s more, our results show that battery capacity can be increased simply by using carbon made from sugar as the anode. The Komaba Group on Tokyo has achieved a 20% increase in storage capacity using sugar over traditional lithium batteries. Sodium ion batteries won’t be commercially available for at least five years, but we say: bring on the sugar.”

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