Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Sugar Fuel Cells

Sugar fuel cells
  [vote for,

Sugar is abundant, and even more so now that people are not buying car containing sugar and carb products like potatoes and wheat. Well what could we do with it? Make sugar for a sugar fuel cell!It was once said that you can make a fuel cell that runs on any fuel as long as it is hydrogen.

This has recently been proven false by the advent of hydrocarbon fuel cells such as diesel and butane fuel cells. My idea would take carbohydrates which are similar to hydrocarbons so i dont see this being too difficult to do. carbohydrates are less volatale because they already have oxygen bounded to them so this may make it difficult to do.

I know it has to be possible because humans use carbohydrates to make electricty, heat, carbon dioxide, and water as well as kinetic energy so why would it be so difficult to make a mechanical process that does the same?

One day they may develop a universal fuel cell that can run on hydrogen, diesel, methane or any hydrocarbon or carbohydrate and generate electricty. This would be great because then you could run your car on enriched sugar and alchohols that maybe the only fuels left after all the hydrocarbons have been spent.

As well as being efficient carbohydrates are a renewable resource. You just grow it! Plant corn, potatoes, wheat, oats, sugar cane you name it and you can power vechicles on it or even houses one day in the future.

Fuel cells work by oxidizing a substance. Lets use hydrogen for an example. There is a membrane that divides the oxidizer from the thing you are oxidizing. So you have H2 on one side and O2 on the other side. Since these two elements are attracted to eachother they move towards eachother and as they get to the membrane they travel through the membrane to make the bounding, while going through the membrane electrons are released (electricity) and heat is given off and water is expelled out of the membrane. This is possible to use with a more suffisticated membrane by using Carbohydrates and Oxygen. You would take the oxygen and oxidize the sugar and C02, H20, heat, and electricity would be relased just like how the human body does it.

You could also syntheticly make sugar by taking the C02 out of the atmospshere (also would clean the atmosphere of it) and take water and reconfigure the 2 chemicals to make sugar using electrolys and solar energy and your biproduct would be oxygen. This is done by plants naturally and i am sure we could do this with either biomechanical processes or just pure mechanical processes. Sort of like a reverse sugar fuel cell.

response to XC_XTC V8s do run on Alchohol but this would use a fuel cell rather than internal combustion. Internal combustion is when you burn fuel to creat expanding gasses and pressure that pushes a piston to power a vehicle. My idea would use a fuel cell instead of an internal combustion engine. Fuel cells are more efficient than internal combustion thus being better. Hydrocarbons like gasoline will be in short supply, and hydrogen is a fantasy that won't be fullfilled for a while. My idea uses a fuel cell that works off of already existing fuels that don't have to be created. To make hydrogen it takes a lot of energy, to make sugar takes a green thumb. To get oil takes a big army to invade middle eastern countries. see why sugar is better?

JoeLounsbury, Feb 25 2004

sugar lump anyone? http://www.newint.org/issue195/sugar.htm
[po, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Sugar powered fuel cell http://www.newscien...s.jsp?id=ns99992899
[elvatoedwardo, Oct 04 2004]


       Come on [frogfreak], don't be like that (my own account page is not much better than his :-).   

       If it's feasible I'm all for it (+).
PauloSargaco, Feb 26 2004

       Fuel cells that run on glucose dissolved in water (or blood) are baked.
TerranFury, Feb 26 2004

       [admin note: you have the same problem I do: if you edit the idea without re-selecting the category you'd like, it jumps over to other: general. Seems like a bug.]
oxen crossing, Feb 26 2004

       [//bug// sp: feature]
Worldgineer, Feb 26 2004

       [//feature// sp: pain in the a--]
oxen crossing, Feb 26 2004

       can't say I have ever noticed that bug - oxen.
po, Feb 26 2004

       I thought that fuel cells worked because H+ was such a small ion. Well that and the weakish hydrogen bond that is conveniently centred around an electron. How does a non-hydrogen fuel cell work?
st3f, Feb 26 2004

       Macintosh, po?
oxen crossing, Feb 26 2004

       An article in Scientific America told abour how scientists were using a simple form of bacteria (relativily speaking) to create electricity, the electricity was given off when the bacteria consumed a simple sugar.   

       So instead of growing plants and farming land to get sugar, the "fuel cell" might be able to use sugar created by some single celled organisms, and create power using the simple bacteria that digest it.
thelambs, Feb 29 2004

       They're already being built and perfected
elvatoedwardo, May 13 2004

       i'm going to bone this idea for the simple reason that it will mean this dolt has posted about 25 ideas and not hve a single crumb of pastry to show for it. its a tough world.
etherman, Jun 07 2004

       why not but a few questions what are the electrolytes you're planning to use? no.2 aht would be the concentratin of thee sugar solution? btw could you add more specs to what you paln to do, what catalysts do you plan to use the reaction would probably be very very slow if you don't use any
sagadsabuto, Jun 20 2004

       [thelambs] Arthur C. Clarke described something to that effect on one of the Rama books. All this alien species technology was based on genetically engineering organisms to achieve specific goals. Providing electricity was one of them, of course.
PauloSargaco, Jun 28 2004


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