Toshiba has really small fuel cell

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Can my much anticipated wished hoped and dreamed about apple smartphone be far behind. 20hours!! woo hoo!







http://wireless.newsfactor.com/story...ld#story-start



Japanese electronics giant Toshiba Corp. said Thursday it has developed the world's smallest methanol fuel cell for use in wireless headsets and other wearable electronics devices.

The prototype direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) is roughly thumb-size, measuring 22 millimetres by 45 millimetres (0.88 inches by 1.80 inches) and weighs 8.5 grammes (0.29 ounces).



It 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 two-CCs charge of highly concentrated methanol," the firm said.



Toshiba expects to commercialize DMFC for handheld devices in 2005 at yet-to-be-set retail prices.



DMFCs, which generate water and carbon dioxide as by-products, could do away with the need for recharging batteries .



Fuel cells, using hydrogen or alternative fuels such as methanol, are widely expected to replace existing lithium-ion batteries for mobile devices.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    So does my car
  • Reply 2 of 36
    marcukmarcuk Posts: 4,442member
    Highly concentrated, mmm, can I drink it?
  • Reply 3 of 36
    nimbusnimbus Posts: 3member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by TednDi



    DMFCs, which generate water and carbon dioxide as by-products, could do away with the need for recharging batteries .



    Fuel cells, using hydrogen or alternative fuels such as methanol, are widely expected to replace existing lithium-ion batteries for mobile devices. [/B]



    O my, what about Kyoto?!
  • Reply 4 of 36
    chromoschromos Posts: 189member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by MarcUK

    Highly concentrated, mmm, can I drink it?



    ...only if you want to go blind. http://www.nature.com/nsu/030303/030303-1.html
  • Reply 5 of 36
    Forget the phones put a few of those in the G5 Powerbooks. Then when you fill up your car you can fill up your computer. Along with your phone, iPod, PDA, GPS and Gameboy.
  • Reply 6 of 36
    beigeuserbeigeuser Posts: 371member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by TednDi

    Can my much anticipated wished hoped and dreamed about apple smartphone be far behind. 20hours!! woo hoo!





    I read somewhere that developing the technology is only the first obstacle fo the whole process. Now Toshiba needs to set up a worldwide methanol distribution network. Apparently it's not safe enough to sell at WalMart quite yet. Then they have to change some laws and regulations. Since methanol is a extremely flammable substance which is prohibited at some places (e.g. airlines). You don't want to have to leave your laptop and iPod at home everytime you board the plane, right?



    And since methanol fuel-cell battery dealers will be scarce at first, devices will need to be able to run off of both conventional and methanol batteries which might make it bulky and expensive. Not to mention that fuel cells will be expensive to begin with (being a new, developing technology).



    Consumers tend to hate bulky and expensive so they may avoid fuel cell at first which as a result will make manufacturers avoid fuel cells.



    My guess is that fuel-cells will start at certain specialized devices then gradually work it's way into consumer portable devices. So expect a couple of years before you see in the iPod or Powerbook.
  • Reply 7 of 36
    beigeuserbeigeuser Posts: 371member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by nimbus

    O my, what about Kyoto?!



    Are you referring to global warming?
  • Reply 8 of 36
    fred_ljfred_lj Posts: 607member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by MarcUK

    Highly concentrated, mmm, can I drink it?



    Drop the "M" and you could try...



    This tech (as others have already said) is going to be a long time coming to the mainstream, but our modern economy has proven to be extremely conducive to fostering that entrance to "everyday."
  • Reply 9 of 36
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    Quote:

    Are you referring to global warming?



    Have you never heard of the Kyoto protocol?

    Just because the US was the only country not signing it, doesn't mean you should ignore, what it's about...



    It's about reducing C02 emissions.
  • Reply 10 of 36
    beigeuserbeigeuser Posts: 371member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by G-News

    Have you never heard of the Kyoto protocol?

    Just because the US was the only country not signing it, doesn't mean you should ignore, what it's about...



    It's about reducing C02 emissions.




    Yes, I've heard of it. Which is why I asked to make sure if the original post was about emissions. As you can see the original post was pretty vague. Kyoto could have meant a lot of things. It is a city rich with history. You can probably see that I live in the country where Kyoto exists. Just because you only know Kyoto by the Kyoto protocol, that doesn't mean that's the only thing it's worth for.
  • Reply 11 of 36
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    indeed, that makes sense.

    however, since they mentioned the biproducts water and CO2, I guess it was fairly obvious, what he meant.

    There are other fuel-cell mechanisms that work without methanol. Hydrogen for example. I guess the cheapest will make it, and something tells me that is not going to be methanol...
  • Reply 12 of 36
    beigeuserbeigeuser Posts: 371member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by G-News

    indeed, that makes sense.

    however, since they mentioned the biproducts water and CO2, I guess it was fairly obvious, what he meant.

    There are other fuel-cell mechanisms that work without methanol. Hydrogen for example. I guess the cheapest will make it, and something tells me that is not going to be methanol...




    Yes, I assumed that he was referring to emissions. However, there is this company called Kyoto ceramics (known around the world as kyocera) which is a very large company which develops cameras, cel phones, fine ceramics, engine parts, and of course fuel-cell batteries. I just wanted to make sure.
  • Reply 13 of 36
    telomartelomar Posts: 1,804member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by G-News

    Just because the US was the only country not signing it, doesn't mean you should ignore, what it's about...



    Australia didn't honour it either. Australia is like the US' puppy though. Just follows it around and does whatever stupid things the US is doing at the time. Given they were one of a few countries to be given the concession they could increase emissions, which took a lot of lobbying, it was kind of silly not to honour it.
  • Reply 14 of 36
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    I love it how the libs are usually the first group to post off topic political crap whenever and wherever they feel like. Whadda ya say we ALL follow the forum rules. As much as this might shock you, being a lib doesn't mean you're above the rules.



    D
  • Reply 15 of 36
    nimbusnimbus Posts: 3member
    Although it was intended to be a wittyful remark, it's really interesting to see how it initiates discussions again on this.

    We might give it a follow-up in another thread: there seems to be a certain need for it. Although I haven't checked it out yet, I assume there are already over a million threads dedicated to this issue on AI alone .
  • Reply 16 of 36
    nimbusnimbus Posts: 3member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by DaveGee

    I love it how the libs are usually the first group to post off topic political crap whenever and wherever they feel like. Whadda ya say we ALL follow the forum rules. As much as this might shock you, being a lib doesn't mean your above the rules.



    D




    Amen, back to topic
  • Reply 17 of 36
    moosemanmooseman Posts: 126member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by G-News

    Have you never heard of the Kyoto protocol?

    Just because the US was the only country not signing it, doesn't mean you should ignore, what it's about...



    It's about reducing C02 emissions.






    ...no its about saddling the US with economic burdens so the EU can remain competitve even with 35 hour work weeks and 46 week work years while letting "emerging nations" like China completely off the hook.



    No thanks.



    http://www.gravett.org/bizarrescience



    GMAB.



  • Reply 18 of 36
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    There's a conspiracy behind everything, man, watch it carefully next time you flush your toilet, might trigger something UBER-CONSPIRATORIC!



    ::/
  • Reply 19 of 36
    tednditedndi Posts: 1,921member
    Hey gang,



    All I was reporting is that TOSHIBA was making a small fuel cell. NO politics No global warming!!



    Toshiba same company that makes the little 60gb drive for apple's lesser known product the IPOD. Many of you have commented about the short battery life if apple decided to add more functionality to it's ipod. Fuel cell technology might be the ticket. Yes, there are hurdles but an early alliance with Apple's R&D might be the ticket.



    Also, and if these little devices come to pass the methanol in them is probably less than a shot of Vodka (ethanol) which you could buy legally on an airplane. A few mililiters of the stuff can power a device for 20 hours. If one was to use an alkaline battery it may only be good for 4-6 hours then into the landfill where it can contaminate the environment for eons.



    Kyoto has very little to do with a tiny fuel cell. In fact mostly kyoto has to do with HUGE power generation plants and INDUSTRIAL chemical plants.



    Coal burning and Oil emissions produce most of the industrial Co2.



    Methanlol is a green power alternative derived from plants like corn which the US has plenty of. Plants take Co2 and sunlight convert through the photosynthetic process into carbohydrates and Oxygen.



    By the way the one of the largest emissions and most abundant form of greenhouse gas is METHANE.



    From farts!



    Let's stay with the topic (fuel small fuel cells in Hardware) or start a KYOTO/GREENHOUSE thread.



    Here is a nice place to start that conversation

    http://www.showmenews.com/2003/Sep/20030920Busi006.asp



    thanks
  • Reply 20 of 36
    beigeuserbeigeuser Posts: 371member
    Right. Back to topic. But I still haven't seen anything that indicates the use of fuel cells in the near future. As of right now, there are zero places where you can buy methanol for fuel cells (at least in most communities.) A distribution network must be in place before it fuel cells go on the market. The laws still need to be changed. And for those who say hydrogen is a better alternative. Remember that hydrogen is much more combustible than methanol and presents a lot more risks when storing and refueling.



    This is one technology that Steve can't suddenly surprise us with. There are so much preparations needed, we will see it coming from miles away.



    On a personal note, I kinda like recharging batteries. Plug the battery in a socket for a few hours and it's ready to go. I don't want to have to travel a few miles (or kilos) to my nearest fuel cel dealer to buy batteries everytime it runs out. If rechargeable batteries can hold 80% of the charge of fuel cells, I would take the rechargeable route. I guess Lithium-ion (or maybe another element) has a few years to improve before fuel cells hit the market.
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