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Revolutionary Butane-Powered Backup Charger to Hit Market This Year

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A 10-year-old MIT spinoff, Lilliputian Systems is now ready to commercialize a portable charger that, if priced correctly, will revolutionize batteries and backup charging for mobile devices. It runs on butane and contains a revolutionary fuel cell that transforms the liquid into electricity.

The device will be retailed through Brookstone and will probably hit the market this year, after intensive testing and preparations for the past few years. We wrote a piece on the Lilliputian butane charger three years ago, so it was about time they rose. The company is the first to deposit a solid oxide fuel cell membrane onto a silicon wafer.

Butane is a highly combustible gas, but contained in a pressurized recipient it’s liquid. A cartridge will be purchasable for a few dollars and will hold the energy for charging a smartphone a dozen times before running out. The spent fuel cartridges will be recyclable through municipal programs, says Mouli Ramani, business development VP at Lilliputian.

So any student with a phone, a USB cable and a need for grid-free charging will be able to charge their iPhone with butane gas. I guess this product will catch, telling from the fact that Intel invested in the technology.

And don’t think the thing’s not safe – it was patented and approved to be carried even on airplanes.

[via cnet]

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