Gas-powered cell phones?

— 5:15 AM on October 3, 2001

Consumer advocates may have banned the use of cell phones when driving in some parts of the country, but that hasn't deterred Motorola's vision of convergence.

Motorola researchers announced Tuesday that they have successfully demonstrated a methane gas-powered fuel cell, which can provide enough juice between chargings for a month of cell phone calls.
Commercial use of fuel cells is still a couple of years away.

Correction: Motorola's eminent Dr. Stephen R. Samms has informed me that the quote above is wrong. He writes:

We are developing methanol based fuel cells (not methane). Unlike methane, methanol is a liquid at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. Also, unlike methane, methanol can be easily converted to a mixture of approximately 75% hydrogen and 25% carbon dioxide at relatively low temperatures (200 - 300 C). This makes it an ideal method of "storing" hydrogen in a relatively safe liquid (Methanol is similar to gasoline in terms of flammability and explosion limits). We can then convert the methanol to hydrogen (which is fed to the fuel cell) as it is needed, thus avoiding the difficult (and often dangerous) problem of storing & transporting hydrogen.
Thanks very much for the clarification and apologies to any and all for the misquote.
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