On April 24, Hitachi Maxell announced the development of a fuel cell battery that relies on water and aluminum to generate electricity.

Portable fuel cell

Measuring 16 (H) x 10 (W) x 6 (D) cm (6 x 4 x 2.5 inches), the simple, low-cost device produces an average of 10 watts of power. The company claims to be working on developing it as a power source with up to 100 watts of power, and they hope to see the fuel cell use recycled aluminum scrap.

The device is described as a type of proton-exchange membrane fuel cell that generates power by combining hydrogen with oxygen in the air. Separate cartridges contain aluminum and water, and hydrogen is generated as water is gradually added to the aluminum. With 20 grams (0.7 ounce) of aluminum, a laptop can be powered for 4 to 5 hours.

[Source: Nishinippon Shimbun, Hitachi Maxell press release]