According to the report published in the journal Nature, Prof Chris Pickett and his colleagues at the John Innes Centre claim that they have built the active part of a bacterial enzyme that works like a miniature hydrogen fuel cell.

The world’s first efficient bacterial battery, as they say, will recharge your cell phone or any other portable electronic device within no time.

The research could help scientists to replace the expensive platinum catalysts in fuel cells that break up molecules of hydrogen gas, releasing electrons that generate an electrical current.

“In nature iron-sulphur enzymes catalyse a range of important chemical reactions that industry can only do by using precious metal catalysts and/or high temperatures and pressures,” the Telegraph quoted Prof Pickett as saying.

The bacterial battery will hit the market in mid 2006 and could be used in environments where it is difficult or costly to charge the batteries.

More here.