Experts estimate that about 3% of all the energy in developed countries is used to treat sewage. That's a lot, and much of that energy is the result of burning fossil fuels. That may all change, however, as researchers claim to have devised an efficient process that will convert wastewater into clean energy.
Electronic medical implants have worked wonders for lots of people, and we're only just realizing what is potentially possible in the future. What we need, though, is a power source that doesn't involve opening people up and replacing batteries every few years, and these spinal fluid powered glucose fuel cells could make that happen.
Lilliputian Systems is not a big name in portable power, but they have some big ideas, and this year, they've promised a big product: a fuel cell generator the size of a smartphone that will be able to generate enough power on one cartridge of butane to charge an iPhone up to 14 times. Goodbye batteries, hello liquid electricity.
I'm not a Mac person. I don't like the culture, I don't like the cost, and I definitely don't like having Apple tell me what I can and can't do. But if Apple manages to create a MacBook powered by a fuel cell (and new patents suggest they're working on it), then that's it. Game over. I'll be buying a MacBook.
As much as we liked the Chevy Volt, it's only really efficient when it's running on electricity. When you kick the gas engine in as a middleman, it gets much less eco-friendly, but a new type of fuel cell is able to convert gas into electricity. And it's tiny.
Hydrogen is definitely the fuel of the future. Or, it would be, if we had a fast and easy way to make all the hydrogen we need instead of sucking it out of hydrocarbons like natural gas. It now looks like the way to go is just harnessing bacteria to do all the hard work for us, for free.
By mimicking the essential process that allows plants to produce energy, an MIT researcher has managed to create electricity out of water more efficiently than conventional solar cells, to the point where one and a half bottles of wastewater could power an entire house for a day.
For decades, the entire energy industry has been hearing about how awesome hydrogen fuel cells are. Finally one company is putting some H2 where its mouth is: Horizon just announced pricing for its portable fuel-cell charger for gadgets that we heard about in January, which should be available later this year.
For fuel-cell vehicles, hydrogen replaces gasoline as the substance that keeps the engine running. But where do you fill up such a tank?
Fuel cell technology is finally getting more practical. Toshiba goes beyond the research stage with Dinario, the first fuel cell charger to be commercially available. Selling first in Japan on October 29 for around $326, there will be only 3000...