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Meths – it may send you blind but gives great battery life

I have to confess. I’m a little bit of an geeky environmentallist. I collect my plastic and walk it to the nearest recycling point. I am willing to spend a lot on a bike that I now use as my main transport (and fun). In fact, I’m two stages from being a card carrying tree hugging hippy.

So, I was excited about an announcement from MTI Micro about a liquid methanol fuel cell for a mobile phone that’s set a new record. According to the environmental gadget porn mag, EcoGeek:

The power pack has hit over 2,700 hours of continuous use on a cell phone. They’ve been testing out the fuel cells with intent to demonstrate just how much energy their battery can get over Li-Ion power packs. And they can check that off their to-do list. A lab test version lasted 2,700 hours of continuous use with a power degradation of less than 15%. The low power degradation rate is in and of itself a breakthrough in the micro fuel cell industry. But that isn’t the exciting part.

Li-Ion batteries can lose up to 50% of their capacity after about 1,200 hours of use, which is the average amount of time talked over an average 2-year contract. So essentially, the Mobion fuel cell battery can last twice the amount of talk time used over the course of 2 years without nearly the amount of degradation. That’s some serious talk time. I’m getting flashes of that phone commercial with the bubbly teen girl chatting non-stop.

MTI Micro has partnered with NeoSolar (WiBrain) to build prototypes for the consumer market, looking to make the Mobion available for all sorts of NeoSolar’s handheld gadgets. They already have prototype digital camera and MP3 player batteries, and are working on a GPS unit. And the companies are working together to build a prototype of an ultra-mobile PC powered by fuel cells.

Basically this means that I’ll rarely have to charge my phone again. A huge improvement over my Nokia 6500 which seems to need it constantly.

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