Alcohol-powered fuel cell battery will juice-up your smartphone in near future
The race to make micro-sized battery power sources for mobile devices is on, and the competition to develop micro fuel cells is stiff. We have seen numerous examples of unique ways to power up smartphones, tablet and other gadgets; like the sugar-powered battery or saliva-powered fuel cell. And now one more prototype is here to startle us. Gianmario Scotti, a scientist at Aalto University has developed a fabrication of micro fuel cells that is quite capable of generating electric energy from ethanol, methanol and hydrogen. Which means that your smartphone could be powered by alcohol.
The size of this micro fuel cell is 14 mm square and has thickness of just one millimeter. When it is drenched in methanol or other alcoholic liquid, it generates around 0.5 volts of electricity. Scotti’s fuel cell is fabricated using aluminum that reduces the weight of this prototype battery and cost too.
So in effect if there is a fabrication of many fuel cells together, then alcohol will be able to produce the required amount of energy to power up today’s fuel hungry gadgets. And the size of such battery would still be the fraction of size of current rechargeable batteries, thereby saving space and ensuring sleek designed gadgets.
One more application of such fuel cells is for powering up wearable devices that require micro-sized energy generators that can fit in the form factor of the device easily without taking up too much space.
The only problem with such a fuel cell is its susceptibility to get clogged in polluting environment and special care has to be administered to keep it clean. But the researcher is surely going to figure out a way to resolve that, thus giving us one more reason to be fascinated by future of wearable technology and nano-technology employed in gadgets.