If you’re stuck in the wilderness with no electric plugs in view, but still want to chat on your cell phone, run your iPod or GPS, now you can: New York-based SiGNa Chemistry will be offering a portable hydrogen fuel cell charger that runs on anything with water, starting May. And yes, that includes urine!
The PowerTrekk Fuel Cell Charger brings together sodium silicide and water in a chemical reaction that’s enough to set your device going.
Using water shouldn’t be difficult: salt or muddy water is as good as any. As for the sodium silicide itself, this one comes as a powder in little round 1.05-ounce cartridges that sell in three-piece packs of $12.
The fuel cell charger itself will be found in the outdoor clothing and gear retail chain REI for $199 up to $220, which is a very appropriate move: their customers are outdoor people who still care about having their devices with them… charged.
The U.S. military and the U.S. Agency for International Development have also expressed enthusiasm at the product’s mass marketing, since they might actually be among the ones to benefit from the technology.