Scientists have developed a way to power robots and PCs using batteries powered by food scraps.
According to the New Scientist, researchers at the University of the West of England in Bristol have developed a microbial fuel cell about the size of a mobile phone that could be powered by organic household waste.
The fuel cell runs only on sugar cubes, since these produce almost no waste when broken down, but the scientists aim to move on to carrots next.
The team, headed by Chris Melhuish, is using the cell to run a small light-sensitive robot but they said when a series of the cells are connected they could run domestic appliances or computers.
The bacteria-driven cell, which would cost about $15, directly converts biochemical energy into electricity. It uses E. coli bacteria to break down carbohydrates and release hydrogen atoms.
The organic battery can produce eight times as much energy as other microbial fuel cells.
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