Alcohol-Fueled Power Pack Unveiled
A research firm has come up with a prototype miniature power pack for cell phones that runs on alcohol--including hard liquor. Manhattan Scientifics Inc. of New Mexico said its “pre-prototype” micro fuel cell could be used to power a cell phone. Fuel cells generate power through a chemical process without combustion. “It can run on ethanol--which is vodka. It will run longer on something strong, but we are using a water/ethanol mix that is equivalent to windshield wiper fluid,” said Robert Hockaday, the company’s chief fuel cell scientist. “You could screw the fuel cell into one of those little shot bottles, but then we would have a liability problem--people would be trying to drink their phones,” he said. Hockaday’s prototype cell can run for about two weeks on an ampul of fuel, but the company’s ultimate objective is six months of uninterrupted usage. A commercial version of the miniature fuel cell could be available in about a year and a half, the scientist said. Manhattan Scientific’s stock, listed on the over-the-counter bulletin board, jumped 25 cents to close at 52 cents.