Methanol Energy Storage For Ibm Thinkpads

Lynne Kiesling

We here at KP are a bit in the futurist optimist vein, so we pay attention to fuel cell technologies. One of my personal favorites is work to commercialize small methanol cartridges for use in phones, PDAs, and other small devices.

So my instant thought when I saw this article on the development of methanol cartridges for IBM ThinkPads was “how cool is this?”:

IBM and Sanyo Electric have put together a prototype of a fuel cell system for ThinkPad notebooks.

The methanol-based fuel cell is designed to work with most standard ThinkPad systems and could provide power for up to eight hours, the companies said Monday.

The new battery does not require any change in the internal power architecture of the ThinkPad. The fuel cell can be charged by means of an auxiliary docking station, which also provides an alternative power supply.

Eight hours. Methanol. Developments like these intrigue me so much because they get us closer to two Holy Grails: better energy storage and “the hydrogen economy”. But IBM gave no date for commercialization.

Still, life is good in the dynamic world.


2 thoughts on “Methanol Energy Storage For Ibm Thinkpads

  1. As something of a followup, I wrote about a membraneless, all-liquid fuel cell that would do away with the membrane altogether. If he can figure out a way to reliably oxygenate the liquids, this could be a huge advance, because typically a proton membrane — using platinum — is the largest single expense in a fuel cell.

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