Angstrom phone runs on water

February 19, 2008 | 07:30

Tags: #fuel #fuel-cell #hydrogen #power

Companies: #motorola

Okay, it's another slightly misleading headline: startup Angstrom Power has teamed up with Motorola to produce a prototype handset that runs on hydrogen stored in an internal metal hydride cell.

“So,” I hear you ask: “where's the water?” If the technology demonstrated by Angstrom is to be believed, you charge the phone by simply filling the desktop fuelling station with good old tap water which is then cracked into oxygen and hydrogen ready for filling the phone with lovely power. Ergo, the phone runs on water. Sort of.

The idea behind the fuel cell is that the hydrogen molecules pass through a membrane within the metal hydride storage unit which strips away electrons and uses them to drive the phone. It's a technology that is already being used as a proof-of-concept system in various low-power devices, and a mobile handset is certainly a good way to get some use out of system before trying to scale it up to something more beefy.

The company claims that the fuel cells will offer a runtime approximately twice that of a traditional lithium battery, and that they can be charged from empty via the desktop fuelling station in around ten minutes.

The prototype has been running for six months – although not on a single charge, obviously – and the company is confident that the technology shows the reliability and convenience required for fuel cells to make inroads into consumer-level devices. All that the company is waiting for is for Motorola, presumably suitably impressed with the modified MOTOSLVR handsets created by the company, to stump up the readies for manufacturing to begin.

Will you be willingly ditching your nasty heavy-metal batteries in favour of the hydrogen, or do you have images of a pocket-sized Hindenburg dancing before your eyes? Share your opinions over in the forums.
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