Toshiba Announces World’s First Direct Methanol Fuel Cell for Portable PCs!

Too cool!

Toshiba Announces World’s First Small Form Factor Direct Methanol Fuel Cell for Portable PCs

If you run out of fuel, can you eat a big bowl of beans and stick the fuel line up your, ehhh, fuel source? Methanol and methane are similar compounds and both are flammable.

Sounds to me like what they’ve done is found a way to sell methanol “rechargers” like the fuel bottles for butane lighters. I mean, the advantage of a rechargeable battery is that you plug it in. Or am I being ignorant of how the fuel cell works? The article indicates that you need a “cartridge of fuel.”

The have increased the density at which you can store methanol by an order of magnitude.

“Bartender, I’ll have a pint of lager. And bring some vodka for my laptop.”


Yes, they have made a technological breakthrough, but it still looks from the article that you have to purchase a new cartridge for every 5 hours you want to run your laptop in a portable capacity…

Seems kind of expensive, unless the cartridges are cheap as dirt.

Actually, that would be ethanol, not methanol.

BUT, this brings up a couple of thoughts:
a) Would ethanol work?
b) This would surely be nice it can be made as flexible as, say, those multi-fuel backpacking stoves, so you can power you laptop even if all you can get is some funky Botswanan diesel.

I supposethis is very cool for the outdoorsy types who travel out of reach of electrical power.

Me? Give me a couch, an electrical line, DSL and HDTV, OR GIVE ME DEATH!

I wonder if they will let you take this on airplanes - methanol does burn very well, and if its compressed, that might be a safety hazard.

Just what we need…

“And please remove the explosive cartrige from your laptops and throw them out.”