Brookstone To Debut Butane Fuel-Cell Charger

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New York - Fuel-cell maker Lilliputian Systems said today that Brookstone will be the first retailer to carry its butane-based portable USB fuel-cell battery charger, which will charge a smartphone up to 14 times with one recyclable cartridge.

About the size of a deck of cards, the charger will reportedly cost between $100 and $200, with the plastic replacement butane cartridges costing less than $5. The cartridges, which will be manufactured by cigarette lighter makers, will be sealed in such a way that TSA regulations will allow them to be carried on airplanes, according to Lilliputian.

Refill cartridges will be available online, through Brookstone catalogs or at stores. Empty cartridges will meet the standards of most community recycling programs, the company said.

Lilliputian started 10 years ago as a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where the butane fuel-cell technology was developed.

Two years ago, Intel invested in the company, retrofitting a manufacturing plant in Hudson, Mass., to make specially structured silicon chips with Lilliputian's solid oxide fuel-cell membrane imprinted on them.


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