MTI Micro and Korean manufacturer NeoSolar said on Thursday they will build prototype ultra-mobile PCs powered by fuel cells.
The two companies said they will develop digital devices that use MTI Micro's Mobion fuel cells, which use liquid methanol cartridges as a fuel.
The development could lead to external chargers, snap-on attachments or devices with the Mobion fuel cell embedded in them, the companies said.
Fuel cells are being developed for a wide range of applications, from back-up electricity in buildings and data centers to transportation.
Rather drawing on tanks of hydrogen to make electricity in a fuel cell, MTI Micro's Mobion uses methanol. The advantage is that it's a liquid fuel that can be easily transported and store, say backers. The byproduct of using the fuel is water and carbon dioxide, in relatively small amounts.
Other consumer electronics manufacturers, including Sharp, are also developing direct methanol to fuel cell chargers.