A group of chemical engineers with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have recently
a hydrogen fuel cell that measures a measly 3 millimeters across. This means that within the not-too-distant future we could be using gadgets with cheaper, longer lasting, more eco-friendly power sources.
The cell consists of very few parts: a water reservoir, a chamber contain metal hydride separated by a thin membrane with an assembly of electrodes that conduct electricity underneath. And, thanks to the small size of the chip the need for a pump, pressure sensor and controlling electronics were eliminated.
The first models were able to generate 0.7 volts and a current of 0.1 milliamps for about 30 hours. The team does claim that now they’re able to produce 1 full milliamp for the 30 hours at the same voltage.
Image Credit: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign