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October 13, 2009

Toshiba Demos Liquid Fuel Cell-powered Mobile Phones

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by Franz Bicar

Toshiba is taking mobile batteries one step further by showcasing their direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) battery. This new battery was fitted inside a cell phone and is said to have the ability to power the phone for approximately six hours of talk time and about 13 days on standby and then be recharged in seconds. Traditional batteries, of course, can power a phone for around three or four hours. Toshiba won’t reveal the capacity of the DMFC, but they have said that a 50ml cartridge is good for about 15 refills.

This isn’t the first device that Toshiba powered with their liquid fuel cell batteries. A few years ago, they demoed a liquid fuel cell-powered Gigabeat media player.

The battery is a compact 22 x 56 x 4.5mm (maximum of 9.1mm, for the fuel tank). The latest prototype, with its total weight only 8.5g, is small enough for integration into a wireless headset for mobile phones, but still efficient enough to power an MP3 music player for as long as 20 hours on a single 2cc charge of highly concentrated methanol. The new fuel cell outputs 100 milliwatts of power, and can continue to do so, non-stop, for as long as users top up its integrated fuel tank—a process that is as simple as it is safe.

Some of you may now be asking about the safety issues regarding this. But its not yet out in the market and I’m pretty sure the company has already considered these hazards and are carefully finding ways to protect users or make the device safer.

Story link: Toshiba Demos Liquid Fuel Cell-powered Mobile Phones


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