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Apple's Patented Liquidmetal Could Enable Fuel Cells to Power Future iPhones


A Liquidmetal patent for an internal component of a fuel cell has been granted to Apple. Initially, the experts believed that the patent was for an iPhone antenna or for a new iPad enclosure, but it seems that they were wrong.

The new patent of Apple describes an electrochemical battery that generates electricity with the help of hydrogen. The material is an amorphous alloy or “metallic glass”. Apple signed a contract for using the Liquidmetal Tehnologies’ IP in consumer electronic products in 2010, but the plan was not completely fulfilled.

Liquidmetal was considered by the scientists who discovered it as a material out of which they will be making their next iPhone. NASA thinks Liquidmetal is “guilty” of the materials science that we know today. Mobile phones can be powered without recharging for more than 30 days by using miniature fuel cells.

Bloom Energy sold power units to eBay, Walmart or Google and has discovered even larger fuel cells that can power houses, offices, flats and villas.

Apple refers to a collector plate in its patent, that is sort of a stimulus for a chemical reaction which separates electrons from hydrogen in order to generate electricity. The cell has to be topped-up with fuel. The process is three times more efficient than burning fuel and its only by-products are heat and water.

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