Just two days ago, MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc. has made a press release for their third generation Mobion chip, a portable fuel cell powered device aimed for small-scale devices, such as iPods, media players and mobile phones.
Their new Mobion chip has improved its power performance by almost 25% compared to the second generation Mobion, unveiled in June 2007. In laboratory testing, Mobion demonstrated a power of over 62 mW/cm2, while producing more than 1800 Watt Hours Per Kilogram (Wh/kg) of energy from the direct methanol fuel feed. In addition to the ongoing power performance improvements, the third generation Mobion Chip is approximately 25% smaller than the prior generation was in June 2007 and over 50% smaller than the initial generation at the beginning of 2007.
“Our third generation Mobion Chip is a significant step forward in our commercialization efforts and is expected to generate interest among OEMs who are looking for increasingly efficient, innovative solutions to power their consumer electronics applications,” said Peng Lim, Chairman and CEO of MTI. “We believe these results demonstrate our technological leadership and enhance our ability to deliver an alternative power source to OEMs.”
The interesting thing about the Mobion fuel cell is that it runs directly on methanol, hence allowing to be recharged in a matter of seconds at a price that can be compared to a cup of coffee. The usage time of these methanol fuel cells is greater than that of Li-Ion batteries to orders of 2 to 10 times. Imagine what this technology would do if put in laptops, where battery lifetime is critical. For that matter, the methanol used in them has to be 100% pure.
Mobion will be simple to manufacture, being made from a single molded structure. Being simple to manufacture, it will probably have a smaller price than other fuel cells. One more interesting aspect is that it can run from 0 to 40 degrees Celsius, and the humidity can be from 0 to 100%. That means it runs in water (probably as long as water doesn’t shortcut its electric terminals).
Anyway, these are not just dreams anymore, they will be incorporated into everyday electronics beginning with 2009, as their CEO says in his statement above.