Israeli U Develops Easily Transported Fuel for Fuel Cells

The Authority for Applied Research & Industrial Development at Tel Aviv University (RAMOT), is seeking US$5 million to establish a start-up company to develop and manufacture fuel cells with a new fuel technology.

TEL AVIV, Israel, IL, 2001-11-16 [] The company, GreenFuel, will focus on development of hydrogen powered fuel cells for portable devices, such as cellular telephones, laptops and palm-held computers, based on a technology developed in Israel by Emanuel Peled at Tel Aviv University. Peled is a candidate for the position of chief scientist at GreenFuel, and has published 100 scientific articles on fuel cells and registered 25 patents, including devices that overcome logistical problems hampering development of fuel-cells. For safety, the hydrogen required for operating fuel cells can be transported only under special conditions or at low temperatures to preserve its liquid state. The university has developed fuel that can be transported without the need for special storage conditions, according to Hanan Terkel of RAMOT. He estimates the international market for electric batteries for portable devices at $30 billion a year, and says the market will welcome an alternate energy source. Trials have shown that a fuel cell fed by a hydrogen tank with a capacity of 5 milliliters, could supply the energy required to operate a cellular telephone for 20 days, at 15 minutes of talk time per day. For users who talk for three hours a day, the fuel cell would need to be recharged every three days. GreenFuel wants to make the fuel cell an integral part of the cellular phone, with an opening for the insertion of the fuel tank. The telephone would be equipped with a mechanism to indicate fuel level. Grants are financing the work of 20 researchers at he university, including research funding of Euro 800,000 from the DreamCar consortium of European car manufacturers, which is trying to develop fuel cells for an electric car.
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