Eco-friendly phone for Nokia by Daizi Zheng


Chinese designer Daizi Zheng has created a conceptual mobile phone for Finnish brand Nokia that could be powered by sugary drinks. Update: this project is included in Dezeen Book of Ideas, which is on sale now for £12.

Zheng proposes that the phone could run on a battery that uses enzymes to generate electricity from carbohydrates.

The following text is from Daizi Zheng:


Eco-friendly phone for Nokia

This is a client project for designing an eco friendly phone for Nokia. Through out my research, I found that phone battery as a power source, it is expensive, consuming valuable resources on manufacturing, presenting a disposal problem and harmful to the environment.

The concept is using bio battery to replace the traditional battery to create a pollution free environment.

Bio battery is an ecologically friendly energy generates electricity from carbohydrates (currently sugar) and utilizes enzymes as the catalyst.

By using bio battery as the power source of the phone, it only needs a pack of sugary drink and it generates water and oxygen while the battery dies out.

Bio battery has the potential to operate three to four times longer on a single charge than conventional lithium batteries and it could be fully biodegradable.

Meanwhile, it brings a whole new perception to batteries and afternoon tea.

Dezeen Book of Ideas out now!

Daizi Zheng is included in our book, Dezeen Book of Ideas. Buy it now for just £12.

Posted on Thursday January 7th 2010 at 11:01 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • noko

    it’s a fake

  • zwenkwiel

    @micheal from sweden

    couldn’t they just that vending machine out of the wall socket and use that to charge their phone
    or are these wireless vending machines :p

    ow and I only need 1 battery which will last my entire phone’s life
    with this you need 1 can of coke every other day or something
    or can i just recharge it?

  • Yes, cornballer, I see your point. But, you see, the coke part was just to give an example of a commercial drink. That way, people will notice it more. However, the drink doesn’t have to be coke, or any soda, for that matter. It could be your leftover tea (if you use sugar). Or you could just make sugar water. I’m glad you raised the point, though, and it should be stressed that that does not create an excuse to by coke. Make your own sugar water.

  • Yes, zwenkwiel, everyone knows how fast batteries run out, and how much power they use to recharge.

  • Rayman

    Sugar to water and oxygen plus power, Wow, 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry! A designer (art) turns a Nobel Prize Winner to be, what a joke!

    This lady got great imagination.

    Sugar to water and oxygen, then what happened to the carbons?
    What chemistry involved in the operation of the battery?
    Which enzyme(s) is used in the battery?
    What happened to the coloring of Coke? Only see crystal clear water at the end.

  • BRian


  • Fizz

    Redefines sweet talking on the phone…..

  • Enough with fussing about the power source.

    Cell phone powered with liquids seems like a great idea. It’s obvious that using Coke as a source of energy has its environmental burden.

    But hey, take 1+1 = 2.

    There is a liquid what we always carry with us and that is readily available. It’s urine. It seems as there has already been done research on urine batteries.

    Just check:

    National Geographic – Urine Battery
    My Digital Life – Urine powered batteries – The pee power: Urine Battery

    I must admit that combined the phone and urine battery make a little gross device. However, it makes true recycling.

    Next time you see someone leaning against car’s side and taking a leak the person might just be refueling his electric car.

  • Great, clean site!
    Sugar to power my cellphone, that’s fantastic. If this thing works, I want one right away! /trackback

  • Helenhogreentea

    Great!!!It’s useful and funny~~

  • 闫肃


  • dylan

    Now, this is an interesting, and somewhat viable idea, but I have to say that the whole green debate, as good as the intentions are, is being held for all the wrong reasons.

    Sure it’s a great thing to want to save the planet, but to say we’re doing it for the well being of the planet is rediculous. The planet will be fine when we’re gone, no matter what we do to it. It will take time, but eventually the Earth will be able to reset itself, and balance out the harm we have done to it. Even plastics degrade eventually.
    What we should really be worried about is ourselves. Eventually we are going to run out of the resources needed for us to survive as lavishly as we’ve become accustomed to. Be as green as you can, its always smart, but do it for the right reasons. Otherwise you just start to sound a bit rediculous after a while.

    One more thing about all of this green/eco-friendly talk:
    When someone starts harping about the CO2 emissions from, well, pretty much any source you can think of, please remember that the CO2 in question was either around in the first place (i.e. the fizz in soda, dry ice, etc.) or was converted from some other chemical (oil) and will eventually be returned back to its constituant parts via photosynthesis, or some other chemical function.
    If you’re really concerned about the CO2 content in the air, breath less. Every time you breath out, you’re expelling CO2 from your body as a waste product of the energy you consume simply being alive.

    Your, critically thinking:

  • Tino

    THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • congrats Dezeen for being Dezeen … hey and I gave you a mention here:

  • DarkwinterNights

    Too many people are learning their science from cinema.

    Sugar based batteries are demonstratable – give it a google. This outlines a phone using such a battery, which is entirely plausible. Turns out, batteries are used to power things.

    As for ecology, what kind of impact does the construction of a battery have on the environment? Is the argument that the production of any/all soda worse than that of any/all commonly used batteries? Is this just an opinion?

    Perhaps those High School grades were the rule, not the exception.

  • It is really a wonderful mobile phone by nokia. I think that samsung should also introduce such an echo friendly mobile phone.

  • this is a new concept and its quite creative ..but i dun thikn it is gonna make much difference to the enviorment.. but anyway..i appreciate his idea and effort…gadget help

  • Kroenen

    Typical how everyone starts going on a tirade about Coke as the first obvious thing to complain about.

    Forget those low-sugar sodas.

    If this gets to mass production, I’ll just carry some triple-sec around.

  • Guillaume

    Can’t believe that out of 68 comments… only 2 people are sensible enough to realize that this is just a concept picture!
    If a designer would invent the first workable sugar-powered battery, then the thousand of researchers that actually know what they are doing would feel really stupid!
    This is common misconception of science… things are not so easy: having an idea and actually make it work are two different worlds!
    Also, instead of taking time to write some widely off track comments that ends up in validating a false claim, people should be a little more critical about what they read and accept as truth.
    For those dumbasses who still think that such a phone really exists: I have plenty at home, just send me 100$ and you’ll receive it within 2 weeks!

  • Mimas Khodr

    We always look for new and strange products to deal with, specially when it comes to protecting the environment. Your product is very interesting. Can we get hold of the product for trade purpose? How can we be your Sole Authorized Dealer for these regions:
    Middle East
    gulf Region
    South East Asia
    Australia & New Zealand

    Kind regards

  • So, now i can buy juice for my phone. Great! It is interesting if it really works.

  • a very sweet deception.

  • anthony

    A communicator that can reach across space: Star Trek…a cell phone hmmmm. Isn’t it wonderful how science fiction/fantasy can become reality. Of course if we really cared about the planet we wouldn’t be using lithium batteries installed in plastic and worked metal cases just for the convenience of wasting time, we would go visit people in person, not call or text every 35 seconds.
    Most of the ‘green’ products we see are wonderful, makes everyone think they are helping the environment, alleviates guilt but are they truly green or just a brilliant marketing campaign. What are the costs of making a hybrid car.
    EVERYTHING we use extracts a price from the planet. Basically we are just picking our poison. Paper bags, bad for trees: plastic bags, bad for landfills, now cloth bags, at what cost to grow the cotton, linen, flax, synthetic….

    Solution to lithium/coke batteries….throw out your cell phones, ipods, laptops…

  • lars

    what about just putting a sugar lump into the phone every so often… bull about the need for a can of coke – but I can see the free product placement here..

  • For this phone to be truly green, it would have all the components are and it is not particularly need a Soucre energy not clean. Nokia effort must be emphasized.

  • Great …. Sugar can be converted to carbon dioxide and water using oxygen (from air) and generate energy.

  • This is a perfect product for third world markets!

    How many power outlets do think you can find in a shantytown?

  • I agree with sue street. a biochemical process that is found in nature to turn sugar into energy is going on all the time in your body. An alkaline battery has way more harmful chemicals than soda. I wonder how much talk time I will get out of one can of soda?

  • Great things you’ve always shared with us. Just keep writing this kind of posts.The time which was wasted in traveling for tuition now it can be used for studies.Thanks

  • minion

    can't we use urine so that nothing is really wasted, drink the coke first

  • Great news, It's useful and funny

  • well this is really great stuff, it can revolutionized the world

  • Of course a Coca Cola battery and metals is better than a battery powered by lithium.

  • Well, at the end of the day I think finding some coke to power your phone is much more energy efficient than using power plants to create a current to plug the damn thing in at night!