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A Totally Sweet Cell Phone

iPods, cell phones and other small, mobile devices could soon be powered by sugar-fueled batteries.

Researchers at Saint Louis University believe they have tapped into a sweet method for powering small mobile devices, such as iPods, cell phones and PDAs. The scientists discovered that sugar--coveted by hot beverage drinkers and candy-chomping kids alike--can be used as a new battery fuel-cell option. Their tests have shown these sweet batteries run almost three to four times longer on a single charge than their everyday lithium ion counterparts.

University chemistry professor Shelley Minteer has tested her batteries using flat sodas, sweetened drink mixes and tree sap. But the best results so far came from using ordinary table sugar dissolved in water. If the test results continue to provide positive feedback, Minteer and her colleagues suspect we could see sugar-based batteries in the market within the next five years.

Whether the devices will develop diabetes or require regular dental visits remains to be seen.

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