OK, I'm having a hard time deciphering exactly how this works, but it is very cool.
I was browsing Cellular News
when I found this tidbit: Two Japanese firms with ridiculous names (DoCoMo
and Aquafairy,) are joining their techy powers to create a mirco-fuel-cell, water-powered cell-phone charger.
I'm having a hard time believing what I'm reading, but the story seems to be that a catalyst splits the water into hydrogen and oxygen without the need for additional energy, and the pure hydrogen is used in a thin film fuel cell producing two watts, enough to charge a cell-phone in 120 minutes. It is probable that this isn't a true catalyst and must be occasionally replaced.
If it's a true catalyst, it would seem we have more than a cell phone charger on our hands.
The hydrogen fuel cell charger has a much greater power density than DoCoMo's recently-released methanol fuel cell charger. This device has twice the wattage of the methanol fuel cells and is one fourth the size. Also, water is easier to come across and more environmentally benign than methanol. This leaves us wondering...what exactly is in that catalyst. How does it work...where can I get some!
It's good to see the world moving away from traditional batteries. If this device is any indication, the future of fuel cells is getting a lot brighter.