Monday, June 21, 2004

Sandia National Laboratories used to specialize in the design of nuclear weapons. But they're diversifying, looking into ways to use sugar as an energy source. Not a major one yet, though...

YOU may not be able to refuel your car with corn syrup or charge your computer by plugging it into a bottle of Coca-Cola anytime soon.

So, what are the applications?

Early potential applications of glucose fuel cells would require only small amounts of energy. For example, security systems to detect movement or the presence of chemicals could use sensors that would be plugged into trees, siphoning glucose from sap for energy. ...

Dr. Kravitz and fellow Sandia researchers are developing an array of tiny glass needles, as slim and sharp as a mosquito's proboscis, that could, for example, be imperceptibly "plugged in" to a soldier's arm and used to convert glucose from the human body into energy.

"Suppose you could make a patch that went on the arm and had little micro needles that didn't hurt," Dr. Kravitz said. "Now the soldier just needs to eat an Oreo cookie to keep his radio going."

Well, if you were wondering how those borg implants were powered... now you know.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm. What are the civilian applications of glucose powered devices...

Got it. Self-powering insulin pumps for diabetics. Problem solved.

6:36 PM  
Blogger charles said...

The article mentions another group working on glucose-powered glucose monitors for diabetics. But that's at the University of Texas, not at Sandia.

10:43 PM  

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