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  • Future Devices to Be Powered By Liquidmetal Fuel Cells?


    Details of Apple's plans for the Liquidmetal alloy it licensed earlier this year are beginning to take shape. Rather than a radical new computer or mobile device case, though, it's possible that one of the first uses of the light, strong alloy will be in fuel cells that will replace the batteries of future iPhones and MacBooks. Cult of Mac has discovered a patent granted to Apple for fuel cell collector plates made of Liquidmetal, raising the possibility of mobile devices that can run for weeks without refueling.

    Fuel cells take a fuel like hydrogen gas and use an oxidant like the oxygen in the air to create a chemical reaction that separates electrons from the fuel onto collector plates to produce electricity, water and heat. Spacecraft and satellites use fuel cells for onboard power, and the potential to use them to power electronic devices has been recognized for some time. MTI MicroFuel Cells is working on a "fuel cell chip" called Mobion that uses methanol as a fuel and could fit in the palm of your hand. Apple themselves started investing in fuel cell developers as early as 2003 as an alternative power source for notebooks.

    The new patent, "Current collector plates of bulk-solidifying amorphous alloys," describes using an alloy rather than metal, nickel, or carbon nanotube materials which are commonly used for the anode and electrode plates. Liquidmetal is the trademarked name for the metallic glass - a type of "amorphous alloy" - developed by Liquidmetal Technologies. Plates need to be durable, resistant to degradation in the harsh chemical environment inside a fuel cell, able to be manufactured with a high tolerance, and strong but not brittle. Liquidmetal uniquely satisfies all these requirements, and could make a fuel cell that is cheaper and longer lasting than current designs.

    When Apple licensed the technology back in August, it was commonly believed that the material - which is as strong as titanium but as moldable as plastic - would be used for exotic case designs. That may still be the case, but it does appear that Apple has plans for fuel cells capable of powering a mobile device for up to 30 days, or a notebook for almost 20 hours. The exclusive license agreement means that no other electronics manufacturer can use the material, giving Apple a potential early lead in the technology.

    Source: Cult of Mac
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Future Devices to Be Powered By Liquidmetal Fuel Cells? started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 28 Comments
    1. joneseyy21's Avatar
      joneseyy21 -
      Sweeetttt that would be awesome
    1. Poseidon79's Avatar
      Poseidon79 -
      Lots of off topic posted deleted. kbye
    1. Snozberries's Avatar
      Snozberries -
      Screams monopoly... i mean apple. I would like to see them use their good looks and technology for the greater good instead of hoarding like *******! Will they 'share' liquid metal or keep the world as ransom...
    1. Cowboy's Avatar
      Cowboy -
      I hope they do this and not let the patient sit for ever this would be great to have a phone last more than 8 hours for me
    1. EskimoRuler's Avatar
      EskimoRuler -
      Quote Originally Posted by GoldenTequila View Post
      Hmmm, it sounds nice, but it concerns me too. It says it uses oxygen in the air. What happenes if millions of people carry this phone all over the world? We are already seeing negative effects of global warming, and reduced oxygen would only make it worse. If a number of people have this phone in a confined space, would that reduce oxygen for the people? Hmmmmmmmm.
      Lol that could be bad, millions of people have iPhones. I'm sure apple won't do anything that's not green
    1. Major Herbie's Avatar
      Major Herbie -
      Quote Originally Posted by ecd5000 View Post
      Great just wait until these things overheat and blow up spreading mercury all Over the user. Just another way apple is the leading cause of cancer.


      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyi
      Steve Jobs has already said no to this idea, His cancer is bad and doesn't want people getting it too. >.<'
    1. alexevo's Avatar
      alexevo -
      Finally I can remove the lawnmower engine from my iPhone. It smells bad and it's really loud but I can use my phone for a couple weeks on only 2 gallons of gas.
    1. dagjoe's Avatar
      dagjoe -
      Quote Originally Posted by GoldenTequila View Post
      Hmmm, it sounds nice, but it concerns me too. It says it uses oxygen in the air. What happenes if millions of people carry this phone all over the world? We are already seeing negative effects of global warming, and reduced oxygen would only make it worse. If a number of people have this phone in a confined space, would that reduce oxygen for the people? Hmmmmmmmm.

      Well for starters, it's using a chemical reaction between atoms, so there are billions of atoms in the room your in right now... So lack of oxygen atoms probably won't be a problem. Also oxogen only makes up a small part of the atmosphere.

      Global warming is from too much CO2, and the by-product of fuel cells isn't CO2 like say a car's engine