Sony’s 50 mW bio battery.

AUG. 23, 2007 Sony says it has developed a prototype battery that runs on sugar. The bio battery is environmentally friendly and can generate enough current to power a music player plus its speakers. In addition, the casing of the battery is constructed from a vegetable-based plastic. The unit is 1.5 inches square, and generates electricity as the end product of a process where enzymes break down a sugar solution added to the battery. Sony said test units output 50 milliwatts of current.

Impact: The proliferation of handheld video game systems, MP3 players, and mobile phones makes the concept of a bio battery attractive. Recycling of electronics equipment is on the rise, especially in the European Union where authorized disposal is mandated on many items. The trend toward more environmentally friendly electronics is likely to continue, which makes Sony’s battery research a solid research investment.