A Japanese battery manufacturer has developed a mini fuel cell powered by renewable fuels, which it intends to commercialize in 2003.OSAKA, Japan, JP, 2001-12-28 [SolarAccess.com] Yuasa Corp has developed a fuel cell system which it says is a safe, compact power source, powered directly from methyl alcohol instead of extracting hydrogen from methanol, natural gas or gasoline. The system’s power generation capacity is half of conventional fuel cells, and officials say it will not be suitable for vehicles but will serve as a power source for outdoor activities and emergencies. The direct methanol fuel cell uses a water solution of methanol directly to create a chemical reaction with oxygen, making it safer to handle than other fuel cells. The firm has prototyped two systems with maximum power outputs of 100 watts and 300 watts. Both can supply electric power for 24 hours on 1 liter of methanol, costing US$0.35, but the 100 watt system weighs 25 kg. Yuasa aims to commercialize products based on the technology after two years. In the meantime, it will continue with verification experiments while making the systems smaller and lighter.