Cow Dung Fuel Cells?
There have been a flurry of stories in the news recently about the innovations in the fuel cell sector. Technology company Ultracell created a stir in the press with the announcement of the UltraCell25, an RMFC (Reformed Methanol Fuel Cell) designed to provide up to 45 watts of continuous power to portable electronic and computer devices.
Weighing a mere 40 ounces, the power unit is around the size of a paperback novel. When a laptop is operated away from an electrical power source, used Ultracell25 canisters could be “hot swapped” to provide continuous power in remote enviroments.
Next Purdue chemical engineering professor, Arvind Varma, announced that his faculty had pioneered a new environmentally friendly method of producing hydrogen. Award winning Professor Varma is hoping this new technique could be utilized in hydrogen fuel cells, to power mobile phones, digital cameras, and laptops.
Now we hear that Ohio state university have created the world’s first cellulose based fuel cell powered by cow manure! Granted scientists at Ohio state only managed to produce between 200-600 millivolts of power – barely enough to power a single AA battery. However, in the future extracting electricity from biological waste could be a great method to power laptops, cars and homes in an eco friendly way. Ultimately these innovations may slow down the devastating effects of global warming.
By Todd Gold
Wednesday, September 07, 2005