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Toshiba Demos Methanol Fuel Cell

Article Comments  14  

Oct 1, 2008, 9:50 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

At the CEATEC technology conference in Japan, Toshiba is demonstrating a methanol-based fuel cell for mobile phones. This direct methanol fuel cell uses an interaction between the methanol, water and air to generate enough electrical charge to power 6 hours of talk time in a cell phone. A 50 mL cartridge would be able to recharge a mobile phone battery up to 15 times. Toshiba hopes to have the technology in phones beginning next year.

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Oct 1, 2008, 10:29 AM

Target Market?

What would be the target market for this? 15 charges and then buying a new recharge doesn't seem as convenient as the one time purchase of a car adapter, USB cable, or extra travel charger.

Are the recharges going to be so inexpensive as to be cheaper than plugging in to charge? Keep in mind that plugging into a car is essentially free and plugging in at work is payed for by the employer.

The extra talk time is nice, but I don't see it being worth the expense for most. It's usefulness seems to require being away from any other power source for a significant amount of time. Even airplanes are beginning to provide power ports now.
Business travellers, for one, especially if your business takes you to multiple countries where the electrical plugs are all different.

That will depend on the size of the unit, though. If it's small - no larger than a cell phone itself - then I c...
Personally I prefer electricity, it's abundant and everywhere. Besides I've got 4 spare batteries for my N95-3, so I'm ok for a good period of time.
I can think of several advantages:

*Methanol is cheap and easy to produce. In some parts of the world you are more likely to be able to brew your own methanol than plug in to a reliable electrical grid (but they still have cell service, and indeed ...
Oh, i bet you the market would be huge. It will be the next energizer AA.

The mere convenience of buying a $1.00 (or equiv) cartridge in a vending machine, gas station, or kiosk will beat the hassle of having the charge your phone on the go. It'l...
T Mobster

Oct 1, 2008, 4:43 PM

What is the point of it?

That's so dumb...15 times? I think I'll stick to Lithium Ion (Li-ion)
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