Tiniest Fuel Cell in the World

January 23, 2009

Engineers at the University of Illinois have developed the world’s smallest fuel cell.  It’s hydrogen-based and measures only 3 millimeters in length. It can churn 1 miliamp at .7 volts for 30 hours.  It’s not enough to power, say, a cell phone which requires a few volts usually.  But, developers say, it could power “microbots” or smaller electronics.

I have no idea what microbots are, but I want them to be a part of my life for sure.  Anyway, the reason it works as well as it does being as small as it is, is that it doesn’t have any mechanical pumps like larger fuel cells.  It’s so small that just moving it around gets all the internal components to interact.  It’s like blood in an ant, that way. 

That is just green and adorable.  It’s like a 20 year-old liberal arts major at U.C. Santa Cruz, but a LOT more useful.  


Image Source: newscientist.com