Chemical Fuel-Cell Charger Makes Debut

By John Laposky On Jan 8 2009 - 8:00am

Medis Technologies is displaying at International CES a portable device charger that runs on a chemical fuel cell, an industry first for a consumer product.

The Medis 24/7 Xtreme Power fuel-cell power starter kit is compatible with most smartphones, MP3 players, cellphones, PDAs and Bluetooth accessories.

Medis' fuel cells use a proprietary mixture of alcohol, sodium borohydride and potassium hydroxide, all chemicals that are not harmful to the environment.

The kit is intended to be used as an emergency power source and boasts a shelf life of 18 months or more, delivering energy only when needed and instantaneously without pre-charging. It can charge a smartphone up to six times before it is spent.

Everything in the Power Pack can be recycled. The spent fuel-cell chemicals can be purified for use in products like detergents, cosmetics and fire retardants.

Medis' Xtreme 24/7 starter kit retails for $49.99 and includes mini, micro and standard USB connectors along with a Treo connector. The end of the power cable is also a connection for standard Nokia phones. The Xtreme cable and the fuel cell are also included.

The power pack weighs less than 7 ounces and can output from 3.8 volts to 5.5 volts.

The company pointed out that the Department of Transporation permits a passenger to carry up to three fuel cells in the cabin of a plane.

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