September 10, 2003 2:30 PM PDT
Fuel cell maker scores federal grant
Fuel cells are gaining momentum as a supplemental energy source for notebooks, cell phones and remote sensors, because they can last far longer than batteries, said Jim Balcom, PolyFuel?s CEO. Unlike automotive fuel cells, which rely on hydrogen, portable fuel cells convert methanol into electric power and water. PolyFuel doesn't make complete cells. Instead, it makes the polymer membrane, which drives the conversion process, which it then sells to the cell makers. Some notebook makers are expected to come out with notebook computers that are equipped with fuel cells as early as next year. Several government agencies are also scrutinizing the technology, Balcom said.