Hitachi Maxell has announced development of a small 10W class hydrogen fuel cell that runs on a reaction of water and aluminum. They claim to have made improvements in fuel cell technology by developing an aluminum conversion process that requires less aluminum. The company hopes to use reclaimed aluminum in the future to make the technology even more enviro-friendly. Maxell also claims to have utilized a new membrane-electrode coating process (a key part of fuel cells) originally developed for coating their magnetic tape. The company says their test data shows that the new cell delivers five times more power density than previous cells made with methanol as the fuel source.
Right now, the cells measure 3.9″ x 6.2″ x 2.3.” They hope to make future versions that are 70% smaller. The cells were developed with laptops and other portable battery-powered devices in mind. The cells could be kept running by swapping out aluminum and water cartridges.